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THE MO T H E R: 



A POEM, 



IN FIVE BOOKS. 






BY MRS. WEST, 

AUTHOR OF 

" LETTERS TO A YOUNG MAN," &c. 



* See a fond mother encircled by her children : with pious tenderness 
she looks around, and her soul even melts with maternal love. One she 
kisses on the forehead, and clasps another to her bosom. One she sets 
upon her knee, and finds a seat upon her foot for another. And while, 
by their actions, their lisping words, and asking eyes, she understands 
their various, numberless tittle wishes, to these she dispenses a look ; a 
word to those ; but whether she smiles or frowns, 'tis all in tender love." 
From the Italian ofVincenzio Da Filkaja, translated by Richardson, 



LONDON: 



PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, 
PATERNOSTER -ROW. 

1809. 



in t 

Brown Uxiiversity 

MAY 1 1932 



PR S77? 



INTRODUCTORY SONNET. 



Go, child of feeling, to the world explain 
That thou wast bom in care's dejected year, 
Cherish- d with sighs, bedew'd with many a tear, 

And nurtur'd far from pleasure's laughing train ; 

Nor would that flattering wizard friendship deign 
Th' unwelcome birth with omens bright to cheer. 
Go, and to mothers pour thy descant clear; 

Mothers will surely love a mother's strain. 

But, should they scorn thee, shew them thou canst 
Neglect with conscious dignity serene ; [bear 
And silent to oblivion's cave repair, 
Where sit thy sisters of poetic sheen, 

Waiting till fashion lead them forth to day. 

Green from the poet's ashes springs the bay. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Book I.— INFANCY „ 1 

II.— RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION 43 

III.— EDUCATION., ,- 83 

IV.— SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN 121 

V.— MATERNAL SORROWS 167 



THE MOTHER. 



ARGUMENT. 

Invocation to Nature. Address to young women to be careful 
in their conjugal choice. Licentious, irreligious men make 
bad fathers. A coxcomb described in low life. Consider- 
ed as the father of a family. Misfortune of having a 
spendthrift-husband, or an illiterate, covetous one. Not to 
expect a faultless character. Misery of communicating 
hereditary diseases to children. Marriage requires forti- 
tude and patience. Birth of a first-born child. Its sup- 
posed address to its mother. Transport of the parents; 
yet fear is blended with joy. Its baptism. Attention of 
the mother to the infant's bodily wants and diseases. Death 
of a young child. Blameable grief of the mother. The 
sorrows and cares of her whose family increases beyond 
her means of supporting it. Advantages of a hardy edu- 
cation and early difficulties. The wealthy enjoined not to 
make their children selfish, or vain, or fastidious. The 
aspect of the times requires generosity and fortitude. Dan- 
ger of Britain. State of European sovereigns. Sweden. 
Emigration of the Braganza family. 



MOTHER. 



BOOK I. 



INFANCY. 



x sing the mother's duties, joys, and cares. 
Ye matrons of the British isles ! who best 
Deserve that name, protect the votive song ! 
And thou, ail powerful Nature ! at whose shrine, 
Hung by simplicity with offerings chaste, 
The wise and virtuous bend, give to the strain 
That paints thee, in thy best and holiest form, 
Full inspiration ! grant it strength to rise, 
Pathos to melt, persuasion to subdue, 
And grace to charm. Hence every theme profane ; 



4 INFANCY. 

All that is gross, fallacious, or absurd, 

All that vain fashion's votaries prefer 

To thy behests ; all that philosophy 

Falsely so call'd, the idol of the age, 

In maniac day-dreams tells her worshippers. 

Nor let it less avoid the narrow aims 

Of sordid souls, who, by capricious whim, 

Or envious pride, or partial spleen abus'd, 

Forget the mother in the bigot's name. 

Far from such themes my varying song revolts 

Indignant, and far other audience claims. 

And ye, fair maids ! thron'd in the early pride 
Of beauty's reign, fly not alarm'd : my lay 
Courts the chaste ears of those who wish to lead 
Their willing captives to the honoured shrine 
Of life-endearing Hymen. Ev'n to you 
Th' unborn maternal passion pleads to check 
The pride of levity, the rash resolve 
Of doting, headstrong, eye-directed love. 



INFANCY. 

Is there among your train a youth whose arts 
Triumphed o'er virgin fame ; who mocks at faith 
Divine and human ; who, with boastful air, 
Recounts his orgies to the bestial powers, 
Bacchus, or Paphian Venus ? Tho' his form 
Vie with Adonis, tho' in wealth he seem 
First born of Plutus, and in fame excel 
Alcmena's son, reject his baleful vows* 
Give hot your future progeny a sire 
Whose deeds shall soil the gloss of youthful hope, 
Or chill with deadly damps the ardent glow 
Of generous emulation. Spare your heart 
The pang it must endure, when the apt child 
Turns o'er the sacred page, and weeping sees 
Its father rank'd in Belial's cursed train, 
Or Baal's slave, at enmity with heav'n. 
Amid the haunts of guileless infancy, 
Sacred to truth, can ye assume disguise 
To gloss the crimes your intercessive prayers 
Daily bewail ? Or bid th' ingenuous boy, 



6 INFANCY. 

Panting with virtuous energy, divide 

The sinner from the parent ? Modest, fair 

And innocent, your lovely daughters bloom. 

Must they, with blushing cheeks and wounded hearts, 

Fly from the guilty licence of the man 

Who gave them being ; lest the voice design'd 

To utter benedictions, and call down 

Unction celestial, should profane their ears 

With jests obscene, or vaunting blasphemies • 

Satan's accursed dialect; — to God 

Most impious, and most horrible to man ! 

No^let the coxcomb, forward, pert, and bold, 
With swing important, vesture alamode, 
Half bred, half civil, half informed, half wise, 
Uttering quaint nothings, with distorted face, 
And gestures from some ouran-outang caught 
Seen at a raree-show; a spurious brood, 
To Britain once unknown, familiar now 
To crowded cities and to rustic burghs : 



INFANCY. 

Let not this prating Dapper-wit, who gibes 

At courts and camps, yet parodies their crimes, 

Win wondering Cicely from blunt Colin Clout, 

The honest son of pure simplicity, 

Attractive even in his rustic garb. 

No : let her call Audrey and Blowsibel 

To strip the jackdaw of his plumes, and toss 

His self-invested greatness to the wind. 

Still be Narcissus, self-adorer, woo'd 
By Echo's empty voice : at Hymen's shrine 
He is no seemly votary. View, ye fair, 
The shallow coxcomb, by some chance perverse, 
In the connubial or paternal chair 
Uncouthly seated. Quaint, disgustful, strange, 
The creature looks : his babes are squalling brats, 
His servants scoundrels, and his wife a fool. 
Nothing is right, save his own perfect self, 
That paragon of wisdom ! For the grin 
That strains his jaws in public, yields at home 



INFANCY. 

To sour dictatorship and sov'reign rule, 

Worse than a Turkish Bassa. Cold his heart, 

Cold as the frigid arctic, raid the reign 

Of Pisces, to all human weal or Woe, 

Save his own precious person. Does the rheum 

Affect his teeth ? Has the tyrannic gout, 

That keen remembrancer of idleness, 

Enslav'd his finger ? Vassal woman, come ! 

Clothe every door with woollen garniture ; 

Chain every foot, but that which flies to tend 

Th' important sufferer ; nor let a sound 

Disturb the ceaseless knell of his complaints, 

Or bid him recollect, beside himself, 

The world has living creature. Chiefly bind 

Yon healthful boy, impatient to bestride 

His wooden hobby ; to disturb papa 

Is worse than sacrilege : and let the nurse 

Convey the unfed infant from thine arms ; 

For thou must watch the slumbers of a brat 

More wayward and less hopeful. Such the scenes 



I N F A N C Y. 9 

That early wait thy inauspicious bond ; 
To be succeeded by more dol'rous days, 
When time shall ripen an unsightly brood 
Of untrain'd daughters and neglected sons. 
Vulgar and gaunt in manners and in mien; 
Mute in the haunts of meet society, 
From awkward shame, or folly ever proud, 
Yet noisy with the house-maid and the groom ; 
Retorting hatred, scorn, and obloquy 
On him whose selfish bosom never knew 
A father's duty, and shall never feel 
A father's transport or a father's hope. 

" Yet," cries th' enamour'd maid, " Hilario view, 
And bless the happy virgin whom he woos 
With honourable vows. No coxcomb cold, 
The social feelings flourish in bis heart 
As in their proper soil. He, loathing, shuns 
The harlot's haunts, nor does the drunkard's bowl 
Tempt his abstemious lips. No loud complaints 
B 5 



10 INFANCY. 

Of virgin-innocence despoil'd invade 

His peaceful visions. Of the purer charms, 

Attractive science, and ingenious art, 

A fervent worshipper ; the painter's friend, 

The poet's theme and patron ; the sure aid 

Of bare sufficiency, and clamorous want. 

Generous, munificent, unique in taste, 

Matchless in splendor, hospitable, frank, 

The glory of society, the boast 

Of numerous friends, for all who know him love, 

And all affirm, chill prudence never clos'd 

His ever bounteous hand/' Rash maid ! forbear 

Thy praise, misplac'd ; or give him but thy praise ; 

Not the full coffers and luxuriant meads 

Thy frugal sire bequeath'd thee ; nor augment 

A spendthrift's vanity ; nor swell the brood 

Of ravening crows, who on his carrion wealth 

Banquet voracious, and with scream' d applause 

Deafen the wasteful Timon they despoil : 

So shall no daughters portionless, no sons 



INFANCY. 11 

Trick'd of their rich inheritance, and thrown 
Poor outcasts on a cold upbraiding world, 
Their mother's folly curse ; who madly launch'd 
On the vast ocean of connubial care, 
Discretion's guiding compass left on shore. 

Does the blithe spinster, weary of control, 
Stern contradiction, never-ending tasks, 
And sway maternal, with a Cato's pride 
Determine to be free ? Wise that resolve : 
Yet seek not freedom from the brutal hand 
Of Litbin, rich Camacho's darling son, 
The tyrant of his family, the scourge 
Of his indulgent mother. Long desir'd, 
While many a female infant came unwish'd, 
The boy at length was born : the idol boy, 
Too precious to be early school'd, yet train'd 
To know and value what should last be taught 
And least esteem'd, his heirship to the mine, 
The meadow, and the woodlands, and his power 



12 INFANCY. 

To awe his dowerless sisters with his frowns. 

O happier far the rose that blooms and dies 

" In peaceful singleness/' than that remov'd 

To the cold bosom of the niggard dolt, 

Illiterate, cruel, clamorous, and stern; 

Foe to each liberal thought, and every joy 

Of temperate comfort : Mammon his sole God ; 

Most arrogant in vulgar ignorance ; 

Yet scouts he knowledge with opprobrious taunts. 

And with the censures due to surly pride 

Asperses bland politeness. Shun,, ye fair ! 

\ fate like wandering Sindbad's, buried quick 

With his dead spouse. O shun this sepulture 

Of generous feeling, this perpetual death 

Of joy, improvement, comfort, and repose 1 

" How far proceeds the interdicting muse r" 
Inquires Nerina, smiling : " Must we sit 
Waiting in our bowers till men turn angels, 
Watching our silkworms, toying with our cats. 



INFANCY. 13 

Or lonely trilling the piano-notes 

Of " none will come to marry me ?" Beware : 

Nor, in thy wanton scorn, obliquely cast 

Reproach on Britons. Are they misers all, 

Spendthrifts, or sceptic-libertines, or fools ? 

Let angel Candour o'er infirmity 

Drop her white veil in mercy ; or, more oft, 

Let error in the self-accusing heart 

Of kindred error kind compassion meet, 

And sufferance : nor, till faultless grown, expect 

From Araby, Utopia, or the moon, 

A phoenix-man to build for thee a nest 

Of deathless odours, and all-healing balms ; 

There, like the azure halcyon, bid thee brood 

O'er love eternal and perpetual joy. 

Only in haunts of fable or of song 

Does perfect man reside ; on earth he walks 

By folly and infirmity pursu'd. 

Tho' on his heav'n-ward journey they retard 

The dubious wanderer, fear not thou to join 



14 INFANCY. 

A brother-pilgrim, who with heart sincere 
Directs his course to Canaan. If he err, 
He will retrace his steps, and onward speed 
More zealous from transgression. Yet, ere love 
Guides thy acceptance, give not error's name 
To brutal appetites or devilish crimes. 
These are not human weaknesses: these leave 
A stain indelible, th* infernal scar 
Of daring guilt, stubborn, and fix'd in ill. 

Nor, tho' infirmity demands thy tear 
Compassion, and thy ready arm to aid 
His tottering steps, let not the blooming nymph 
In life's fair prime for life's long partner choose 
One faint and wayward, through the festering wounds 
Of hopeless anguish; chief, when the deep taint 
Fouls the polluted blood, and on the germ 
Of infant beauty pours the mildew-blast 
Of pale disease, or stains the glossy skin 
With purple scrofula, or leprous scale ; 



INFANCY. 15 

Or, with contractions, numbs th' expanding limbs 
Just shooting into vigour; or with clouds 
Impervious, shrouds the intellectual beam, 
And leaves man human only in his form. 

From the sad ministry of blank despair, 
From the sharp pangs of unavailing love, 
From the reproachful scorpions of remorse, 
Ye future mothers ! save your hearts, and spare 
Weak unresisting innocence those pains 
Which the wise sybil Foresight's prescient glance 
Discerns, scarce veird by time's thin flecker'd clouds. 
Enough of long protracted watchings, hours 
Of sad solicitude, and tender aids 
Man's feeble race require. Come then, ye fair! 
To Hymen's shrine, and in your spousal train 
Bring Fortitude and Patience. Poesy 
Mispaints the nuptial god. His saffron vest, 
Like the cameleon, changes oft its hues; 
And on his radiant torch there sometimes hang 



16 INFANCY. 

Turbid or gloomy vapours. In his crown 

Of roses lurks unseen, the rankling thorn ; 

And oft the deadly aconite enwreaths 

His sacrificial goblet: omen dire ! 

Ah ! could my feeble voice from rural glens 

To courts and cities sound, with power to call 

Thy daughters, Folly ! from the late carouse 

Of Comus, or the cumbrous toils of state, 

Dangerous to health and fame ; but dangerous most 

To fragile life, when Nature wisely bids 

Th' expectant mother to the quiet haunts 

Of ease and privacy, and social love ; 

When pleasing, anxious, pensive cares and pains, 

Wishes and sad presages, prayers and hopes, 

Preluding terrors, clog the tedious hours 

Of parturition, and with force combin'd 

Shake the sad matron, writhing in the grasp 

Of agonies most keen ; till the shrill cry 

Of new-born life first wakens in her soul 

Maternal tenderness. A pang succeeds, 



INFANCY. If 

Sharp as the throes of pain ; her clasp' d hands drop ; — 

O'er her flush *d cheek a dying paleness falls, 

Like snow on the niezereon's crimson buds. 

Thin visions float before her closing eyes ; 

On her dull'd ear imperfect murmurs ring ; 

Quick and unequal beats her heart. — " She faints ! " 

TV assistants cry, as they with pungent salts 

Chafe her cold, dewy temples. Yet, forbear, 

Ministring friends ; for nature has at hand 

Restorative more potent. Hark again 

Those infant waitings, seem they not to say, 

" Revive, my mother ! — lo ! thy feeble babe, 

Shivering and helpless, shrinking from the weight 

Of new existence, in thy bosom seeks 

Its best protection. Who but thou canst brace 

My nerveless limbs, or bid my imperfect sense 

Expand to thought or virtue. O revive 

To duties nobler than the painted gaudes 

That busy idle beauty : to delights 

Purer than e'er the midnight gala gave. 



J 8 INFANCY. 

Here dread no rival. Here no wayward swain 
Shall mock thy blandishments. Give me the hours 
That dissipation claims : my smiles, the shout 
Of infantine delight, my rosy charms 
Unfolding fast, reason's enchanting dawn 
Rip'ning to thought ; these are thy present meed ; 
Thy future, grateful duty ; when thine age, 
Tottering and helpless in the vale of years, 
Shall ask the succour of an arm by thee 
Nurtur'd to manly vigour, and a heart 
Affectionately zealous by thy care 
With early virtues sown, and bearing then 
Fruit of most precious growth a thousand fold/' 

Ye, in whose bosoms warm affection blends 
With calm composure, blessed compound, say, 
Is there a sight that wakes in gentle hearts 
More exquisite delight than to behold 
The joyful mother, with impatient love, 
Receive her first-born child, and lift to heav'n 



INFANCY. 19 

Eyes where devotion, thankfulness, and awe 

Blend their expressive rays; then to its sire, 

With smiles, commend the sacred pledge, and weep 

Her gratulations ? Yet, with chast'ned joy, 

Exulting pair, embrace the dubious boon — 

Perchance a trial of your faith and strength 

And confidence in heav'n; perchance a scourge 

Of rebel-inclinations, craving cares, 

Earthly and carnal passions, selfish aims 

That should spring upward on the vaulting wings 

Of holy expectation, patient, calm 

And self-devoting; or, perhaps, this babe, 

Helpless and petulant, puling and weak, 

May prove the bulwark of your falling house, 

Your guide, your refuge from injurious foes, 

Your ornament, your glory. On the breast 

Of Agrippina infant-Nero lay 

A hopeful boy : in the gymnastic sports, 

The circus, and the forum, she beheld 

The peerless youth, and gloried in her son 3 



20 INFANC V. 

Nor saw in him the matricide, ordain'd 
To visit on her guilty head the crimes 
Of fraud, ingratitude, and murder fouK 

Amid thy daughters, Pharaoh ! the least priz'd 
Was she whom Solomon espous'd, and sang 
Id numbers more mellifluous than e'er flow'd 
From Dorian pipe, or Tuscan lute ; yet she, 
Scorn'd by her mother, by her brethren driv n 
From Memphis' towers, among the vineyards stray 'd 
Till the sun scath'd her beauty, sent to chase 
The foxes from the tender grape, and rear 
The frail pomegranate, while the nightingale 
Sang lovetales to the rose. Unknown she mourn'd, 
Till he, whose kingdom from Euphrates stretch'd 
To IS ile, and from Palmyra to the shores 
Of Ascalon, woo'd her with ample dower : 
An ivory chariot, overlaid with gold, 
And spearmen girt with golden mail convoy'd 
The royal bride, attir'd in panoply 



INFANCY, 21 

Most glorious, to her palace cedar-roof 'd, 
Blazing with Ophir's wealth, and the vast pearls 
Of Ormus, while Arabia's balms perfum'd 
The colonnades. There sat she long the pride 
Of eastern queens; the spouse of him renown'd 
In every nation and in every age, 
Most fortunate, most powerful, and most wise ; 
Till lur'd to idol-worship by the snare 
Of beauty, to uxorious dotage lov'd. 

Happy the wife, who, by endearments chaste 
And pure example, leads her wedded lord 
To Siloa's fountain, whose pellucid rill 
In youth he largely quaiFd ; till, by the world 
Intic'd to taste her deleterious cup, 
He left the life-bestowing stream. Again, 
Led by connubial and paternal love, 
Like Syrian Naaman in Jordan's flood, 
He seeks the healing waters and is whole. 



22 INFANC Y. 

The weeks of lauguishment discreetly giv n 
To close retirement, see, with strength renew'd, 
The christian matron, in the house of God 
A fervent worshipper, fulfil the vows 
Of pain and dolour, while exulting psalms 
Of praise and blessing hail her. Nor alone 
Seeks she the temple: there she also brings 
An infant- suppliant, suing to be wash'd 
In the baptismal laver, and receiv'd 
Within the church's consecrated pale, 
Of high peculiar privilege inserib'd 
Free denizen of heav'n : title divine I 
Unalienable, save by future guilt 
Of bold rebellion. Ministers of peace ! 
Receive these little tremblers to your arms ; 
And with the tenderness of Him whose name 
You iuvocate, pronounce them meet for heav'n: 
Imploring the pure Spirit so to guide 
Their voyage through th§ troubled waves of time, 
As in that harbour thev at last raav rest. 



INFANCY. 23 

Thus in the christian commonwealth enroll 'd 
A future claimant of those glorious hopes ; 
Transcendiug thought ! maternal care reverts 
From the undying spirit heav'n -derived, 
To its frail tenement of clay earth-born, 
And earth-devoted. Ev'n in early life 
The never resting family of pain 
Vex with allow'd hostility the race 
Of rebel Adam. Instruments of good, 
Tho' of infernal origin, they come, 
By the sharp anguish of the suff 'ring babe 
To discipline the mother, and exalt 
Her carnal wishes, still inclin'd to build 
Her tabernacle on mount Tabor's side ; 
Nor, looking o'er it on th' eternal hills, 
Seek a more firm foundation for her hopes. 
For this her heart is often doomM to wail; 
Her beauteous scion, blasted as a plant 
Pierc'd at the root by reptile vermin, droops ; 
Nor genial suns, nor tepid gales, nor showers 



21? INFANCY. 

Call'd by Favonius from the balmy souths 
Renew its freshness. Thus, Celina, fail'd 
Thy anxious care to save the loveliest babe 
Heav'n ever lent to man ; whose cherub smile 
Spoke the mild beauty of the happy realm 
To which the infant pilgrim soon aspir'd, 
Weary of suffering, to assume the crown 
Of immortality. And did thy grief, 
Celina, swell beyond the lawful bound 
Of calm regret, which, while it deeply feels, 
Endures the chastisement in meekness? Yes, 
Frantic in agony thou didst accuse 
Capricious Heav'n, thus early to resume 
A gift so highly priz'd, so long desir'd ; 
Shrouding in endless gloom thy day-dreams, erst 
Employ'd in painting the fair creature's fame, 
Prosperity, and bliss. O most unwise 
And most unhappy ! Hast thou not survived 
To wish thy other offspring in the grave 
In holy hope, like this now envied child, 



INFANCY. 25 

Reposing. Then had thy sad heart escap'd 
The mother's tortures most extreme, who lives 
To every fear, but dies to every joy : 
While, like accursed Cain, her guilty race 
Wander, abhorr'd and dreaded through the land • 

Learn then, fond woman ! who art call'd to yield 
An infant songster to the choir of heav'n, 
Thy proper duty ; or, suppose thy lot 
(Once deem'd the summit of all earthly joys) 
Be to attend, with never ceasing care, 
A healthful numerous brood. They multiply 
Beyond the means of competence. O cast 
Thy care on Him who for the sparrow cares> 
And rears the ostrich on Arabian sands 
Left by its heedless parent. But first doff 
Thy robes of state and cumbrous ornaments ; 
These would impede thy labours in the task 
Of honourable duty ; nor suspect 
The neat attire of plain simplicity 
c 



26 INFANCY. 

Will veil a matron's sober charms. How look'd 

Cornelia, splendid in the cultur'd worth 

Of her renowned offspring, when she left 

To Lesbia and to Glycera those gems 

That would profane the chaste magnificence 

Of proud maternal wealth. With these vain gaudes 

Dismiss the fond desire which would renew 

Expensive pleasures. Be the nursery 

Thy theatre, the school thy masquerade, 

The evening walk thy gala festival ; 

But come not to the scenes where thou shouldst reign 

The priestess of instruction and of joy, 

With brow austere, cold as the anchorite, 

Or pale and mournful as the victim-nun 

Torn from a world she idoliz'd, and doom'd 

To loath'd seclusion. No, with cheerful smiles 

Sauce thy plain viands, and with sweet discourse 

Flavour the Spartan cup Discretion sage 

(An iron-hearted virtue) bids thee use 

For daily beverage : so may'st thou beguile 



INFANCY. £7 

Thy less abstemious husband from the haunts 

Of gay indulgence to thy frugal board ; 

Content, and gladdening with his kind regard 

Thy skill and well-arrang'd economy. 

Thus thrifty Eve her banquet neatly spread 

For Adam and his angel-visitant, 

Herbs their repast, but they convers'd of heaven. 

" Preacher proceed," the pensive mother cries, 
Who, nurs'd herself in elegance, requires 
For her lov'd babes like comforts. " Come, and swear, 
Swear by experience, solid test, that joy 
Awaits on fearful, watchful parsimony. 
Tho' to thy palate wines of Burgundy 
May seem less grateful than the cowslip's flower 
Brew'd by the cottage-dame; tho* costly cates 
Arrang'd in tasteful plenty only pall 
Thy coarser appetite, by choice connVd 
To simple food ; tho' thou dost estimate 
The woollen garb that shrouds thy limbs beyond 



28 INFANCY. 

Thin gossamer, wov'n in the looms of Inde 

And starr'd with sparkling gems ; altho' thy ear, 

Rustic and cold to music's charms, prefers 

The artless carol of the milkmaid's song 

To Catalani's strains, mov'd but to spleen 

By Spagnoletti's quavers, hard to play, 

And wonderful alike to see and hear ; 

Tho' dearer is the converse of thy boys 

Than the full rout, and the fresh evening walk 

Exceeds the chariot's lounge : has wealth no joys 

Save the fictitious pleasures she affords 

To pamper' d luxury and dreaming sloth ? 

Does the immortal mind, because press'd down 

By care's incessant harass, higher vault, 

And with more freedom through its native skies 

Expatiate ? Hast thou never felt a pang 

When from thy door a worthy suppliant, 

Or creditor unsatisfied, has turn'd 

In disappointed silence? If thy breast 

Feel not the gibe of vulgar affluence, 



INFANCY. 20 

The coarse regard of ostentatious wealth, 

Offensive ev'n in liberality, 

Because unsoften'd by the chaste relief 

Of kindness, melting at the woes she heals ; 

If thou canst exile bounty, fetter taste, 

And bid a long farewell to letter'd ease, 

Which sweetly banquets in the vacant hour ; 

If, or by nature callous, or by pride 

Stiffened to fortitude, these evils fall 

On thy firm heart like snow on marble, yet 

Thou art a mother, vulnerable there 

Where poverty wounds deepest. Hast thou seen 

The goodly field of genius barren lie 

A waste uncultur'd, nor the cleansing tilth 

Of education, nor the golden seed 

Of enterprise allow'd ? Or hast thou mark'd 

The prize, which justice to thy studious boy 

Awarded, ravish' d by some wealthy fool, 

Whose narrow soul despis'd what he purloin'd ? 

Or, worse than all, ev'n on the ripening cheek 



30 INFANCY. 

Of virgin beauty hast thou look'd with dread, 
Pondering the evils which the world prepares 
For weak, unportion'd innocence, compell'd 
To quit its parent-nest, and fly abroad 
To seek subsistence in those forest-haunts 
Where felon kites and murderous snares abound?" 

Inquire not what this heart hath felt ; enough 
It is not callous, but can weep with those 
" Who strive with adverse fortune to be just*;" 
Their bodies delicate, their souls refin'd 
To tremulous impatience. Yet be firm, 
Resign not to low opulence the palm 
Of pleasure or content, deserv'd alone 
By liberal wealth, munificent and wise, 
Pleas' d to bestow, and in bestowing blest, 
Ev'n the cold grot of bare sufficiency, 
If independent courage shelter there, 

* Akenside. — " Of him who strives with fortune to be just** 



INFANCY. 31 

Shall mock the gawdy palaces of ease, 

And to his swolfn and pamper'd sons oppose 

Her ruddy offspring, train'd to brave the winds 

Which howl'd around the rocky promontory 

From whence they gaz'd at life. Skill' d to conies. ti 

With the night-riding tempest, or to stem 

The boiling surges vex'd by winter's storms, 

These will not shrink from puny ills ; to these 

Rest is not sick caprice or moody spleen, 

But ecstasy and transport. Try them now 

In infancy : this toy, the youthful heir 

Of yon rich worldling, toss'd it from his grasp 

While pouting for the moon. Give it thy child, 

A rare reward for early diligence. 

Is it a treasure ? Yes ; his glist/ning eyes, 

His eager hands, his look of triumph, shew 

'Twill long be precious, hoarded carefully 

At night, and sought at morning; kept with art 

From envious sisters, and by force withheld 

From sturdy brothers, struggling for the prize, 



32 



INFANCY. 



His right, his recompence. In future life 
Thus with most dear affection will he clasp 
The hard-earn'd comforts of his home, the bed 
Bought by assiduous watching, the repast 
For which brown industry hath cater'd well ; 
Unlike the morsel flatter'd greatness throws 
To the base sycophant it feeds and scorns. 
Yet is not wealth a blessing ? Wisely us'd 
'Tis of the primal stamp. Come, ye who bask 
In the full splendor of its fervid sun, 
O come and learn to give your darling babes 
The good of every station, peace, content, 
Minds undebauch'd, and bodies vigorous ; 
Nor to the vile idolatry of self 
In purse, and heart, and thought devoted all. 
No bliss the narrow worldling feels, enjoys 
No good ; he envies the laborious hind, 
Yet shrinks from exercise ; his cheek is pale 
To hear the students' triumphs, tho' the book 
Falls from his hand ; he wishes for renown, 



INFANCY. 33 

Yet, but by superfluity of spleen, 
Aims at distinction. On one little nave 
Revolve his views ; and all the world is blind, 
Idiot or knavish, envious or unjust, 
Save the led captain, or the humble friend, 
Who daily strike the harp of eulogy, 
Blended with calumny's loud scrannel notes, 
To pay their stinted commons. Could'st thou bear 
To see thy child thus hated and cajol'd, 
Unknown beyond the solitary bound 
Of its own mansion, and, where known, despis'd; 
Spending its treasures on cameleon's food, 
Its time in pompous sloth ? Early dismiss 
The fawning nursemaid, give the subtle groom 
No ingress to young master ; nor allow 
The steward's children to pay servile court, 
To lose at marbles, carry out the dolls, 
Drag the unwieldy coach, and play the jack 
At every game, while thy young tyrants scorn 
Participation ; by'prescriptive right 
C5 



34 INFANCY. 

Enthron'd supreme, empowVd to choose the sport, 
And eat the feast they deign not to prepare. 

Soon are the haughty habits of command, 
And self-esteem, and scorn, acquir'd, which long 
And painful discipline can scarce subdue. 
But if of milder stamp, thy hopes aspire 
To form the courtly finish'd gentleman 
And bland accomplish'd dame, expert in all 
That bears the stamp of fashion, in each grace, 
That with insinuating sweetness steals 
The flatter' d spirit, and from self-esteem 
Commands the praise it gives — bound not thy views 
To suavity, but to smooth manners join 
A heart as gentle, steel'd by virtues firm ; 
For gentleness and firmness may be bound 
In one fair chapiet, like the bay and rose. 

While the young plastic mind from thee receives 
Its first impression, studiously imprint 



INFANCY. 35 

The stamp of fortitude, and wisely raze 
Fastidious niceness, feeling falsely nam'd ; 
Lydian and British manners will not blend. 
Thou dost not nurse some feeble Sybarite, 
Pain'd by a crumpled rose-leaf, and annoy'd 
To madness by a choir of nightingales 
Ghaunting their loves to Cynthia. Other arts 
Thy sons must learn than wanton serenade, 
Or the trim curvets of the agile dance, 
With all the soft voluptuousness that waits 
On pamper'd appetite. No more on earth 
Pteigns fair Astrea, nor has Gloriane 
Sent forth her knights to rid th' oppressed world 
Of giants, Saracens, and paynims proud ; 
Treason, rape, murder, sacrilege, and spoil, 
Ate's foul offspring, ravage now the plains 
Of desolated Europe. Th' iron age 
Calls for a heart like adamant, and nerves 
Compact as steel ; courage alike prepar'd 
To beard gaunt danger in the files of war, 






S6 INFANCY, 

Or bide the stings of sharp calamity 
With unrepining sufferance. Generous zeal, 
Mindless of self, yet burning to unchain 
The captives of oppression, or to guard 
Its menac'd country. Firm integrity, 
A blunt unvarnish'd man, of antique guise, 
Who by the threat'ning sword or proffer' d bribe 
Alike unmov'd, holds on his steady course 
In the plain path direct. War now assumes 
A different character than when she call'd 
The sons of Albion from unmenac'd homes 
To high encounters ; when with mighty deeds 
Of distant heroes her loud trumpet spoke 
Proud invitations to the field of fame. 
No Harry Monmouth now to Percy sends 
His glove in gallant courtesy, a call 
To great achievements and renown' d exploits, 
The sport of youthful warriors. Now no more 
The flower of chivalry, the Muse's pride, 
Illustrious Surrey, rides from joust to joust, 



INFANC Y. 37 

Waving the purfled scarf of Geraldine, 
And calling other lovers to contend 
With him in arts and arms. On Gallia's throne 
No generous Francis sits, nor brave Navarre, 
Who on the horrent brow of combat stamp'd 
Honour and courtesy, and strict regard 
To faith implied or plighted. These compell'd 
Victory to drop her bloody mail, and stoop 
To raise the vanquish' d. Glory was their aim, 
Not mean revenge, the curse of baser minds, 
Low-born, and giddy with prosperity, 
More suited to acquire than just to use 
Dominion absolute. O menac'd isle ! 
Last refuge of integrity and worth, 
To which religion, liberty, and peace 
Have flown as to an ark, riding secure 
Amid a world of waters ; must thou too 
Sink in the deluge that hath overwhelm'd 
Order and law, and from their base pluck'd up 
Empires and states, the elder born of time, 



38 INFANCY. 

Whelming the bright records of ancient fame, 
Habits and hopes, in the oblivious Koto 
Of power invincible. The traveller 
Through Europe journeys, as along the wilds 
Of Samoieda, or Canadian wastes, 
And asks, what wandering tribe inhabits here ? 

Reigns a Nassau in Belgium ? That brave race 
Redeem' d from Spanish tyranny the soil 
Of freedom and of commerce with their blood. 
Does Florence, art's emporium, grateful still, 
Prefer her Medici, who wreath'd her brow 
With flowers of taste, as beauteous as the flowers 
Which fringe her silver Arno ? Do the sons 
Of great Sobieski, champion of the cross, 
Grac'd with the regal honours they deserve, 
Unite the Poles intractable, and rule 
From Oder's bank to Nieper's rapid surge r 
Still do Helvetia's pastoral vales and rocks, 
High pil'd in bold sublimity, defend 



INFANCY. 39 

The lov'd asylum dear to simple taste, 

And virtuous independence ? Do those wilds 

At solemn festivals still echoing name 

The patriotic band, who in their breasts 

Buried invading Austria's broken spear, 

And dying triumph' d ? No: of past renown 

Be silent, Europe ! Tremble now to praise 

Thy former worthies, and instruct thy tongue 

(Impatient to pronounce the bitter curse 

Of agoniz'd despair) in the gross strain 

Of eulogy, while numbering o'er thy scroll 

Of upstart puppies and degraded kings, 

Slaves like thyself. But look not to the north, 

Where brave Gustavus on his native ice 

The Swedish standard plants. Firm, bold, sublime, 

As are his guardian mountains, he sustains 

Dishonour'd Russia's pillage, and invokes 

Justice, and truth, and courage to defend 

Their own Dalecarlia. Freedom there shall reign, 

Or there her champion die, rather than brook 



40 INFANCY. 

Chains from the Corsican, altho' they sit 

Like je weird collars on imperial slaves: 

Speed, sovereign Lord of earth, his righteous war ! 

Nor look, ye royal slaves (to look were death, 
Or self reproach more bitter), where yon sails 
Stretch o'er th' Atlantic. There Braganza's heir 
Conducts the wreck of Lusitania's state 
From shores he could not save, yet scorn'd to rule 
A tributary vassal. He protects 
His aged mother, and a helpless band 
Of women and of infants, who with tears 
Lament the world they leave, and, trembling, see 
The new one they explore in verdant slopes, 
Thick inter spers'd with foliage, rising slow 
From the vast ocean, on whose boiling surge 
They fear'd to launch. The pensive prince there goes, 
As erst the pious Dardan* scap'd from Troy, 
Bearing his dearest ties and household gods, 
* jEneas. 



INFANCY. 41 

To found an empire where marauding France 
Shall never lead her hordes ; — to wear a crown 
Of independence, such as kings should wear ; 
And in Bahia's wide savannahs raise 
A rreeborn race, who never shall deplore 
Algarva's vines, or Coimbra's orange groves 
To ravage yielded, while one stern decree 
Blots from the earth wrong' d Lusitania's name, 
Or chains her a blind captive to those states 
Whose tyrant yoke she burst in happier times. 

And must thou too, native Albion, become 
Thus lost, thus nameless, in the vortex vast 
Of universal rule ingulph'd, while all 
Thy monuments of glory pass away 
Like a poor maniac's dreams ; thy sons' renown, 
The virtue of thy daughters ? The sad Muse 
Bends on her harp, and, silent, bodes a change 
Vast, dolorous, fatal to her lofty song. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 



ARG UMEXT. 

Mothers are exhorted to infuse a patriotic spirit into their 
sons, and to train their daughters in humility and benevo- 
lence. They are warned against partiality to one child. 
Indulged children are generally disastrous or wicked. A 
forward girl contrasted with one who has been too much 
subdued or neglected. A child of reason described. Reli- 
gious instruction the best means of correcting the faults of 
the human heart. Portrait of a poor woman instructing 
her children. Address to mothers in affluence, to extend 
their love and care for their children to their immortal part. 
' Beauty of early piety. A caution not to be too much elated 
hy early proficiency, nor to esteem modesty dulness. Sa- 
muel's mistake concerning which of the sons of Jesse God 
had selected to rule Israel. David's piety and submission 
to the divine will. Influence of religious principle in re- 
calling a sinner. Mothers are exhorted to pray for their 
children. The great change predicted by prophecy appears 
to be commencing in the world. Mothers are exhorted not 
to alarm their fancy by useless speculations, but so to edu- 
cate their children, that whatever be the event they may 
be safe under the divine protection. 



BOOK II. 
RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Wak'd from her trance of woe, the Muse again 
Resumes her song. Ye British matrons ! rise 
With equal firmness, yet with happier hopes 
Than Carthaginian mothers, when they rent 
Their glossy locks, and into bow-strings twin'd 
The bright redundance, late their grace and pride 
In days of freedom. These, with breasts unarm'd, 
Amid the flight of missile spears and darts, 
Tore their fair robes to staunch the bleeding wounds 
Of husbands, sons, and fathers. Yet tho' He, 
Whose love is safety, still around this isle 
Encamps his host invincible, brigades 
Of angels, who with shields of adamant 
Repel the shafts of malice, rage, and pride- 



46 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Hurl'd by the enemy, upon whose head, 
And on the heads of his blind worshippers, 
The vial of destruction gradual pours 
In retribution ; still, ye British dames, 
Yours is an arduous task, to train your babes 
So meetly, that the congregated sins 
Of an offending people may not move 
Our heavenly Friend in anger to withdraw 
His aid, who best, who only, can preserve. 

Say to your sons, " Be brave, be wise, be firm: 
Scorn the low ends of party, and with pride 
(For pride sometimes is virtue) spurn the bait 
Of faction, tempting to a precipice 
That beetles o'er the gulph of infamy. 
Look to the common weal ; all weal in that 
Must be absorb'd ; for in the nation's fall 
Thy fair possessions, titles, honours, hopes, 
Must sink. Thou wouldst not live to be the slave 
Of France, to execute her foul decrees 



KELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 47 

On thine own countrymen, the race of those 
Who bled in battle for thine ancestors. 
These tax their hard-earn' d modicum, till life 
Complains of scant support, to build a fence 
Around thy woods, thy villas, and thy farms. 
Of old, in times less perilous, thy sires, 
Girded in iron mail, disdain'd repose ; 
While at the summons of their bugle-horn 
The hardy peasantry and yeomen bold, 
Bred on their own domains, alike impell'd 
By courage and affection, eager rush'd 
To the emblazon' d standard of their chief, 
Content with him to triumph or to die. 
Shall sloth or dissipation hold thee back 
From their example ? Quit the crowded town, 
Too young to guide the senate, or to wield 
The vast machine of government ; disdain 
To bend the venal instrument of power, 
To sport a courtly summer fly, or, worse, 
To vex the long debate with crude conceits : 



48 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Far other task thine age, thy rank, thy wealth, 
Thy talents, and thy fame require. Go stand 
On yon white cliffs in military pomp 
Of preparation : back to th' invader hurl 
Defiance. Or, if bolder views delight 
Thy ardent spirit — sink not, doting heart, 
With this embrace I yield thee — go and lead 
From Britain's shores her armies formidable, 
Bearing not menace vain, but potent war." 

Then to your weeping daughters turn, and say, 
" This is no time for sloth. Prepare the scarf, 
Pride of the chieftain ; weave the warm attire 
For the brave soldier, who unshrouded lies 
On the damp earth, and steals a short repose 
From weariness extreme, amid the din 
Of danger, or the smart of wounds. Assist 
His teeming wife, left lonely to endure 
Sorrow, and want, and misery. Instruct 
His children; train them to be soldiers too, 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 49 

Soldiers of God and Britain. At the shrine 

Of public virtue offer up the gaudes 

Of vain expense ; nor breathe one guilty sigh 

For pleasures circumscrib'd, delights withheld, 

And wishes incompatible with claims 

Of paramount import. Learn also (ere 

Compell'd by changeful fortune to display 

The virtues of an humbler state) the arts 

Of useful duty, and of frugal care ; 

And still, with gentle courtesy, require 

The state and service affluence receives 

From those her equals in a future world ; 

Perchance in this — for mutability 

Ever on earth triumphant, now more loud, 

Calls on the idle, frivolous, and vain, 

To mark the revolutions of her wheel, 

Which topples down hereditary rank, 

And raises base-born meanness to the clouds." 

Nor yet content with precept, patient form, 



50 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION, 

By firm example and restrictions wise, 

Early begun and patiently pursu'd, 

What these stern times require, an upright mind : 

First school thyself, nip in thy heart the germ 

Of preference ; 'twill cover all the soil, 

Prolific as the Indian fig, whose shade 

Conceals a caravan. Nor quicker shoots 

The tall banana, when the torrent rains 

Have drench'd some tropic-region, parch'd and bare, 

Tho' with redundant vegetable powers 

Indu'd, than in the mother's doting heart 

Springs the foul creeper, rank partiality ; 

Foul, when impregnating the noxious blasts 

Of envy, on a neighbouring plant it sheds 

Mildew and gnawing canker; but most foul, 

When, with inebriating fumes, it clouds 

Maternal justice, robing in the guise 

Of supernatural worth one idol child, 

Or from some weeping innocent purloins 

Its dower of equal love. Rise, prescient Muse ! 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 51 

Ilend time's dark mantle, and to folly shew 
Years of reproach, of sorrow, and of shame, 
Fulfilling slow their melancholy round, 
And scourging her with scorpions. Shew the god 
Of her fond dotage, writh'd by torturing pain 
Owning its mortal lineage, while it sinks 
To an untimely grave, and there inhumes 
Her peace, her hope, Or, shew it as distain'd 
By stubborn guilt, glorying in infamy, 
Nursing the poisonous asp ingratitude 
To sting a mother's heart. Such bitter fruits 
Spring from indulgence ; bodies rack'd with pain 
By early gluttony, by numbing sloth 
Contracted into joyless lassitude ; 
Or to thy vigils, Dissipation, forc'd 
An infant-worshipper, at thy gay shrine 
Inhaling atrophy, or phthisis pale, 
Mortal as the feign' d upas, and more vast 
Their desolation, which no skilful son 
Of Peon can arrest, no healing plant 



52 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Med'cine, no charm subdue: death to the joys 
Of many a parent, many a lover ; death 
To the fair blossom of expanding worth. 

Or, grant the vigorous well-knit frame resists 
These strong assailments, dread that fiercer ill, 
An uncorrected mind; passions indulged 
To mad extravagance; manners untrain'd 
To courtesy or tenderness ; contempt 
Of others; love of self; obstinate pride. 
Wedded to swart and purblind ignorance, 
A wayward witch, who throws her random shafts 
At virtue and at knowledge. Such thy boy : 
Thy girl a forward vixen, pertly trained 
To pout or ogle, or, with mimic state 
To glide around the room a lady Bell 
In birth-day pomp, complaining that she fears 
Her beauty is too killing. Does she sing 
To please the captain ? Does the moppet tell 
She danc'd with a young lord, and won his heart? 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 53 

Gives she prompt answers ? Does sbe never run 

To hide her blushes in her mother's arms, 

Oppressed by observation or by praise ? 

And shall this babe-coquette at the dessert 

Preside sole orator, affront each guest, 

Banish improving converse, carve the ice, 

Engross the sweetmeats, and, with copious draughts, 

Quaff flattery's deleterious cup ? i\way ! 

Give me the rod and scourge the brat to school. 

But from yon lonely corner lead to view 
That poor, neglected girl, esteem'd a dolt. 
Mamma indeed objects, " 'Tis awkward, plain, 
Inelegant, ill dress'd." Shame on her pride, 
Who by the idle vanities of dress 
Denotes contempt, or kindles self regard. 
Bring me this slighted child. She trembles, weeps, 
Shrinks from my proffer'd hand, looks round alarm'd, 
Steals on my face one timid glance, and smiles 
To see a friendly aspect. Half assur'd, 



54 HELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

She speaks, then pauses. She has much to tell; 
But fears lest her untutor'd tongue should drop 
Some coarse expression, or that nurse will chide 
If troublesome. See, by my side all day 
Patient she stands, while gentle offices 
Speak her strong sense of kindness. Mother, turn ! 
Regard this blameless claimant ; though her eye 
Beam not the lustrous ray of beauty, see 
Intelligence and gratitude. Her mien 
Is homely, but thy forming hand may give 
Polish'd deportment; or if stubborn joints 
Frustrate thy plastic skill, through this harsh mould 
Th' unfading charms of a celestial mind 
May dart unenvied beauty. On this arm, 
Brown and misshapen, may'st thou lean ; this breast 
May hide thy tears and blushes, when the shame 
Of that fair wanton, taught by thee to run 
The maze of folly, ends in guilt her course 
Begun in vanity, and bids thee beg 
For death, in bitterness of self reproach ; 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 55 

While this kind nurse, by ministrations wise, 
And sweet endearments, piously withstands 
Thy prayer, and on thy thorny pillow sheds 
The healing opiate of consoling love. 

But who comes now, with philosophic air, 
Sententious, ripe in judgment, tho' in size 
A pigmy. 'Tis a tiny S6crates, 
Now caird a child of reason. It will run, 
If you will tell it the inherent laws 
Of motion. It will say its task, but first 
Convince it language is the privilege 
Of man. Tis nVd and mute, if you attempt 
Cogent authority ; for well it knows 
Its high prerogatives, equal and free. 
And it can prate of rights, bid you assign 
Your motives of decision, school your faults, 
And argue you to silence. Gracious Heaven! 
Transport me o'er the mountains of the moon, 
Where Afric breeds her monsters; bid me cast 



56 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

In Norway's seas my anchor, on the back 

Of some vast kraken slumbering ; let me hear, 

Mid Portobello's putrid swamps, the hiss 

Of serpents vast, whose pois'nous volumes roll 

O'er many a rood*, rather than chain me down 

To this portent, this fearful augury 

Of unexampled times — when, early train'd 

To disputation, to confess no law 

But its own choice, no light except the beam 

Of reason, dim in all, in some extinct, 

And where most bright, dubious and changeable, 

The educated sceptic comes prepar'd 

To wage Typhcean war with heaven ; nor asks 

His unrepented sins and furious lusts 

To goad him on, bewilder'd, to the guiph 

Of infidel despair. These are not times 

Of pagan ignorance : we halt not now 

Between the koran and the cross, nor seek, 

By metaphysic's darkling guidance, Him 

* " Lay floatiDg many a rood.'WMilton. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 57 

Whom clearly shewn we worship, and confess, 
By dedication and external forms, 
To be our sovereign. Rebels we may be, 
Or subjects liege ; not aliens, free to choose 
Roman or Spartan statutes, or to stand 
In the Lyceum, or the porch, or seek, 
From Zoroaster or Confucius sage, 
A God of fire, or moral institutes. 

Mothers, attend ! a hand diviue hath bless'd 
Your infants, and a heavenly voice proclaimed 
Them meet for full beatitude. But say, 
Did Jewish matrons to Messiah bring 
Young reasoning scribes, in argument acute, 
Who cavuTd with their Saviour, nor receiv'd 
His benediction, till they knew what good 
Extended hands convey ; or docile babes, 
Humble and gentle, with affections warm, 
Prompt to ingenuous faith and guileless trust ? 
Such is the sweet simplicity that marks 
D5 



58 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

The faithful christian ; such the character 
On which, as on a bank of violets, 
The soul reposes, weary and displeased 
With long pursuit of earth-born vanities. 

Wouldst thou chain passion, wouldst thou vanquish 
Subdue injustice, and destroy the germs [pride. 

Of falsehood, selfishness, and foul revenge ? 
Dost thou demand what culture best aspires 
To meliorate the heart where evil springs 
Redundant, virtue slowly r Go and learn 
At the poor woodman's hut ; thy chariot wheel- 
Oft pass it, and the ragged boys rush out 
To open wide the forest gate, and catch 
Thy smiles or casual largess. There at eve 
Behold the thrifty matron summon round 
Her frugal hearth a numerous brood, that glow- 
Ruddy with toil, or healthful exercise ; 
And while she plies her ceaseless needle, school 
Her li>ping pupils, and to each imparts 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 59 

Her little knowledge. Tho' the ray which gilds 

Her mind is feeble, 'tis a spark deriv'd 

From light divine, and will direct to heaven 

The humble and the pious. Near her lies 

The awe-inspiring rod, and at the fire 

An apple or a chesnut, to reward 

The docile scholar. One by one they name 

The Father of mankind, and him whose days, 

Prolong' d through ten centenaries, appear' d 

Coeval with the sun ; who walk'd with God, 

And died not; who was strongest; and thy praise, 

Patient Arabian sufferer! who abod'st 

Beyond th' engraven rocks*, and didst foresee 

A future resurrection, tho' the worms 



* " In Arabia, near where Job was supposed to dwell, there are 
, rocks extending for a large space, inscribed with characters too 
old to be recognized as belonging to any known language. 
Some supposed they were engraved by the Israelites during 
their abode in the wilderness; others, with more probability, 
that they were sepulchral memorials of the earliest ages. To 
these Job is thought to allude in the exclamation which ushers 



60 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Prey'd on thy flesh. Who built God's house they tell, 

And of the shepherd-boy, who (heaven-sustain'd) 

Vanquish'd Philistia's champion. Next they name 

The Saviour of mankind ; each duteous head 

Bows in observance, and a softer tone 

And look chastis'd, proclaim a secret awe, 

Parent of piety ! His heavenly deeds 

They number o'er, astonish'd that he lay 

A babe in Bethlem's stable, and perplexed 

The Jewish doctors. Lastly, they recite 

The decalogue, the christian creed, the prayer 

All perfect, by our great Exemplar taught 

For everlasting use. The mother notes 

Their apt proficiency ; perchance laments 

She can instruct no further, nor reward 

Talents so brilliant with an ampler boon. 



in his sublime profession of faith in the resurrection, 19th chapter, 
24th verse." For a fuller account, see Hanner's Observations, 
vol. ii. p. 142. where they are called the written rocks or 

mountains. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 6l 

And shall thy daughters, Luxury ! who bend 
Beneath the cumbrous load of useless hours, 
And sicken for new pleasures, still deny 
Their frigid hearts a transport dearer far 
Than vanity e'er gave, a joy that breathes 
The healing gales of paradise ? Ah ! think 
Of your intrusted talents, number' d all 
In the great book of count ; ease, leisure, wealth, 
Knowledge, persuasive powers, and every art 
To aid instruction. Are your children fenc'd, 
Like Abyssinia's princes, from the world, 
Guarded and watch 'd, lest the defiling taint 
Of vulgar manners should corrode and soil 
The gloss of suavity, the bending grace 
Of all-alluring courtly elegance ? 
Are they, like infant-Moses, early taught 
Egyptian knowledge, train'd and disciplin'd 
In learning, taste, accomplishments, and arts ? 
And shall yon homely boy, uncouth and rude, 
Be wiser to salvation ? Wherefore, say, 



62 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Are ye exempt from anxious daily care 

How best with scanty food to satisfy 

Hunger importunate, save to afford 

Your disencumbered spirits time and space 

To soar into futurity, and learn 

The language of immortals? Were your hands 

Reliev'd from labour to hang listless down, 

To toss the fluttering shuttlecock of sport, 

Or weave the tinsel web of vanity ? 

No : let those hands the book of life sustain, 

Or in the deep humility of prayer 

Be rais'd adoring. Chiefly ye who bear 

A mother's sacred name, say, do ye love 

The rosy cherubs, who at eve and morn 

Meet you with blandishments ? Those falling tears 

Proclaim your dotage. Do ye. wish them blest ? 

The silent language of that fervent sigh 

Tells that your own content were cheaply sold 

To purchase their felicity. Hear, then, 

The faithful Muse, who calls you to insure 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 63 

Not dubious, mix'd, uncertain, human bliss, 
But bliss eternal, pure, and infinite. 

Say, when the joyous nursery resounds 
With shouts of infantine delight, the meed 
Of happy sport, or the dry shaven lawn 
Receives th' enfranchis'd troop, prepar'd to join 
In blind-man's-buff, cricket, or hunt the hare ; 
When your hearts flutter till your cheeks are wet 
With swelling rapture, do you only mark 
The fair expansion of the agile limbs, 
Bounding o'er fence and hillock, eyes that laugh 
Through their fring'd curtains, rosy cheeks o'erhung 
With auburn ringlets, tossing in the gale, 
Or glittering in the sun ? Admire ye not 
The latent soul, which animates and guides 
These graceful movements ? Deathless is that soul. 
Mortal its clay-built mansion, tho' thus fair : 
And shall your sordid aims be all confin'd 
To mould, and deck a feast for reptile worms, 



64 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Unmindful of th' angelic habitant 
Intrusted to your nurture ? Nor has God 
Ann'd you with power to send the stranger home, 
A guest unwelcome : here it must abide, 
And from this middle world convey to heaven 
Its earthly partner, or with that descend, 
Buried in deep Tartarean gulphs of wo, 
Beyond the terminating reign of time, 
Beyond the reach of hope's all-cheering ray. 

Shrink your recoiling hearts r The warning Muse 
Is not a weird hag, nor sybil false, 
Conjuring unreal phantasms, or dispos'cl 
To traffic in portents and feigned woes, 
To scare the awe-struck rabble, or to please 
Sick fancy, longing for a goblin tale. 
Avaunt, unmeaning apprehensions ! truth, 
Awful and venerable, seeks to save 
The mother's breast from pangs destind to last 
Through the long ages of eternity. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 65 

Fain would she animate the blessed zeal 
Of wise instruction, wisest when applied 
To high immortal purposes, the meed 
Of spirits heaven-deriv'd, and thither bound, 

Begin then early. Bend the flexile knee, 
Ere stiff resistance bids the sinew scorn 
The gesture of obeisance. Stretch the hands 
Heav'n-ward, while yet, submissive to your voice, 
They rise not in defiance. Teach the tongue 
The chaunt of angels, ere it grows expert 
In the rebellious jargons first diffus'd 
By Babel's disappointed labourers. 
" Habit," the atheist cries, " is all/' Tis well : 
Bind then this potent habit to the yoke 
Of true religion ; bid it draw the car 
Of earthly and immortal happiness ; 
Teach infant recollection to unite 
With its first dawn the knowledge of its God, 
While all before lies formless, dark, and void. 



66 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

But chiefly, while the imitative powers 
Float o'er the ductile frame, yourself preside 
The priestess of your congregated babes, 
Aud pure exemplar. Teach them from your look, 
To learn devotion, from your precepts, truth, 
And from \our life, religion. Shall the beast 
Instruct its young how seemliest to fulfil 
its brutal functions? Shall the bird direct 
Her newly-feather'd offspring to expand 
Their wings* and soar into the azure vault, 
Their humbler heav'n? And shall the nobler race 
Of man, creation's sovereign, uninform'd 
Of their high calling, waste the morn of life, 
Unconscious whence they sprang, or whither tend? 

How sweetly looks the cherub Innocence, 
Led by the seraph Piety to tread 
The earthly courts of God. How sweetly sounds 
Its duicet voice, breath 'd in the low response, 
Or louder rising in the full-ton'd sound 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 6? 

Of choral hallelujahs, or the stave 

Solemn and plaintive, such as best beseems 

Frail mortals communing with God. Observe, 

The church is mute, while, circling in the nave, 

Fair girls and rosy boys assorted stand, 

To speak the faith, the duty, and the hope, 

Which designate the christian. Pride and joy 

Flush in the cheeks of these; erect they stand, 

Glance round th' observanteye, and with prompt speech 

Anticipate inquiry. Meekly those, 

With downcast look, and awe-depressed voice, 

Twirling their cap or bonnet in their hand, 

Haste through the well-known lesson, glad to pay 

The closing ceremonial, and retire ; 

Of honour unambitious, yet content 

They were not counted with the stupid dolt, 

Who blundered at each sentence, lost to all, 

Ev'n to the sense of public ignominy. 

Nor let the mother, who has wisely school'd 



68 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Her youthful catechumens, share the blush 

Of timid modesty, unapt to shew 

Its own proficiency. Amid the flowers 

That purfle spring's green vest, are aught so praisVI 

As those which pensile fill their honied bells, 

And shun observance. Such the violet, 

Whose perfume never dies, the snowdrop chaste, 

Patient of wintry storms, and cowslips pied, 

Whose sweet infusion forms the beverage pure 

Of village girls on May-day's festival, 

Adorning their trim garlands. Close iminur'd 

By a rough battlement of turgid leaves, 

Th' anana ripens her nectareous fruit 

Unparallel'd. Opaque and disesteem'd, 

Because unknown, the diamond in the mine 

Lies perfecting for ages, to acquire 

A splendor that will beggar rival states, 

Contending for the gem. Mothers, revere 

These warning calls of nature ; nor confound 

The slow develop ement of timid worth 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 6® 

With weak stupidity, or the cold heart 
Of wilful, proud, determined ignorance. 
Have ye not read, or, reading, ne'er rernark'd 
The doubts of Samuel, when from Ramah far 
As Bethlehem he journey'd, to anoint 
A son of Jesse king*. Stately and tall, 
He mark'd Eliab, and exclaim'd, " In him 
Behold the chosen of the Lord/' " Not so," 
The well-known voice of inspiration cried, 
" God seeth not like man ; he views the heart, 
Not the mere grandeur of the outward form." 
Restrain'd the prophet bow'd his head, nor felt 
The sacred impulse, tho' seven brethren came 
To join in sacrifice. " Hast thou no more ?" 
He ask'd th' unconscious sire. " A child, my lord, 
My youngest, a mere stripling, with my sheep/' 
u Go, fetch the lad, and be the feast delay 'd 
Which claims his presence." David soon appear'd, 
Ruddy with youth, and clad in shepherd -garb, 
* 1st Samuel, 16th chapter. 



70 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Yet victor of a lion and a bear 
That flew upon his father's flock, altho' 
Th' unboasted conquest was to all unknown. 
Fair was his person, but more lovely far 
His spotless soul, illumin'd with the charms 
Of heav'nly beauty. The adoring seer 
Perceiv'd the call divine. In copious streams 
He pour'd th' anointing oil -, largely it flowd 
On the rapt youth's brown tresses, pallid cheek, 
(Chill'd by supernal awe) and throbbing breast ; 
In which henceforth the spirit of his God 
Became an inmate ; tho' again he turn'd 
To pastoral duties, and resign'd to Him, 
Who will'd to him a crown, the destined means 
To seat him guiltless on his promis'd throne. 
Nor did he quit his sheep-cots till the cries 
Of suffering Israel, and Philistia's threats, 
Urg'd his heroic spirit to defy 
The giant infidel, and with one blow 
Assert his country's honour, and his God's* 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 71 

Ask ye for what among the sons of men 
Was the sweet psalmist signaliz'd ? His life, 
Shaded by many a lapse, too plainly shews 
The instability of erring man. 
'Twas by the radiance of unclouded faith, 
And fervour of devotion ; champions these, 
Who best can liberate the imprison' d soul 
From tyrant-appetite, and lead it back 
Through the still walks of penitence to peace. 
These were his early, constant, best allies, 
Th' associates of his forest-cares, the friends 
Who gave him strength to fell the savage beasts, 
And him of Gath, chief of th' uncircumcis'd. 
These bore his warbled praises up to heaven, 
From camps, and courts, and desart solitudes ; 
These also gave him firmness to subdue 
Revenge, worst foe of virtue, when he spar'd 
His royal persecutor*, as he lay 

* 1st Samuel, 26th chapter, 9th verse. 



72 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Sleeping unguarded, yet in turbid dreams, 
Projecting death to him who o'er him stood 
To guard a life, the terror of his own. 

Is there a scene of danger or of guilt, 
Danger past hope, guilt irremediable, 
Through which religion's bright effulgence casts 
No guiding ray benign ? Is there a pang 
She cannot heal, a wo to which her voice 
In dove-like murmurs does not whisper hope ? 
Gilt by her beams, the sister virtues look 
More beauteous ; love and pity, then refiVd 
From earthly dross, assume the sacred form 
Of charity, all perfect and all pure. 
Sublim'd by her, valour transports its name 
To christian fortitude, patient to feel, 
And mighty to perform. Her power can change 
The sordid wisdom of the subtle snake 
To foresight, caution, and discernment sage ; 
Th' intelligence of angels, ministers 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 73 

Of judgment or of mercy, as best suits 

His mandates whom they serve, the holy God. 

Has faith this power— and shall the mother fail 
Early to light its lamp, and give the charge 
To her young pilgrims, ere they venture forth 
In life's vast wilderness, where hungry wolves, 
Hyenas pitiless, and adders haunt ; 
Where sirens, more delusive far than they 
Whom chain' d Ulysses struggled to adore, 
Chaunt their sweet strains, devour their worshippers. 
And charm new victims ! By the lamp of faith, 
Justly descried, the painted harlots change 
Their meretricious beauties to the loath' d 
And bloated form of sin, while their sweet songs 
End in the mournful bowlings of despair. 

Ye who, just venturing on a world untried, 
Suspect no danger, guard with vestal zeal 
This heav'n-born beam, which, like the pillar'd fire, 
£ 



74 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Shall lead you from Egyptian servitude 

To a celestial Canaan. Fence it round 

From the sly blast of biting ridicule, 

Which withers unawares. Nor stint its dole 

Of daily oil, lest its bright rays should pale 

Before the gorgeous Baal of mankind : 

So, when your dimm'd eyes shall no more behold 

The blaze of earthly splendour, visions far 

More glorious shall appear ; the world unseen 

Shall give you all its pure realities, 

On which your souls have ponder'd, while beheld, 

As in a mirror, darkling and obscure. 

And ye who, conversant in life, well know 
Its shelves, its rocks, and quicksands; mothers, join 
To prudent precept and example chaste, 
O join the potent energy of prayer 
For grace divine, best guard of feeble man, 
Best foil of wily Satan. He, dismay'd, 
Flies from the hand in holy warfare rais'd, 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 75 

As Amalek from Amram's suppliant son *, 

Love ye your children ? I again inquire: 

Kneel in your closets, kneel, and crave of heaven 

That blessing they will ask you to impart. 

So shall they feel it not an empty form, 

But powerful benediction, like the dew 

From Hermon, shedding on the thirsty vale 

Fertility and beauty. Prayer lias power 

To pierce the empyrean, if preferred 

For treasures spiritual. Fear not, press on ; 

Importunate, ask fresh supplies of faith, 

Humility and patience, peace and love ; 

Till the young Christian, kneeling at your side, 

Partakes your ardours, and discerns the power 

Of truths by memory graven on the soul, 

Ere rip'ned judgment knew they were divine. 

Nor will your solitary worship long 
Lack such communion sweet. Affection soon 

* Exodus, 17th chapter, 11th verse. 



76 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Ripens to pious feeling. Christian lore 

Proffers meet sustenance to all ; for babes 

The rudiments of knowledge are prepar'd, 

Far easier of digestion than that fruit 

Of knowledge now permitted to mankind, 

Tho' once in Eden from our sire withheld 

By special interdiction, while the tree 

Of life sustained him ; till, by flaming swords 

Of cherubs, exiFd and sent forth to till 

A wilderness of briers and thorns, he sought 

Knowledge so late his curse, and from it gain'd 

The means of scant subsistence. Thus his race 

Must labour, and with anxious search explore 

The leafy tree of bitter fruit, till time 

Ripens the vast designs of Providence, 

And sheaths the cherub's sword. Then shall arise 

A paradise more lovely than that fam'd 

Mesopotamian garden, fertiliz'd 

By deep Euphrates ; its extended pale 

Shall circumscribe the earth, a sanctuary 

For truth, and love, and pious gratitude. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 77 

But ere this promis'd purity ; ere yet 
The desert blossoms, and the thirsty sand 
Bubbles with cooling fountains ; ere the kid 
Sports dandled by the lion • ere the snake 
Innoxious round the playful infant twines ; 
Ere enmity shall cease, and war lie bound 
In endless durance ; — shall arise a storm 
Loud, unremitting, vast, from pole to pole 
Extending, plucking empires from the roots, 
And shaking earth's foundations, till it reels 
Like a vex'd drunkard, staggering with its load 
Of violence and guilt. Ere yet condemn'd 
To everlasting silence, war shall blow 
His trumpet louder than the roar when Greece 
Compass'd the Trojan wall, or Xerxes arm'd 
His myriads, or the Macedonian goat 
Beat down the Persian ram*, and vanquished 
From Thessaly to Indus. Not so vast 
The Cimbrian or the Scythian hordes, nor those 
* Daniel, chapter 8th, verse 7th. 



/b RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Which Zenghis or which Tamerlane led forth 

From Samarcand o'er Caucasus, to spoil 

The peaceful sons of industry and wealth, 

As the innumerous multitude whom this 

Dire clarion shall embattle. Nor did man 

Groan 'neath such woes extreme when Attila 

Gave wasted Europe to his spoiling Huns; 

Or Afric, blasted by the Vandal scourge, 

Chang'd her large cities, and her fertile fields 

For barren, silent, mournful solitudes*, 

As shall ensue when the fierce infidel, 

Predicted long, long sought, by most believ'd 

Now fast unfolding, shall erect on high 

His standard, and from all the winds of heaven 

Summon the congregated foes of God 

To war against his earthly residence, 

His chosen church : that ark, toss'd by the storms. 

* For a brief but impressive account of the consequences of 
these inroad?, the reader is referred to Dr. Robertson's Intro- 
duction to the History of Charles V. 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 79 

And vex'd by inward discord, yet ordain' d 

Still to contend and suffer, till the time 

Of victory, when Armageddon's fight 

Shall gather in the vintage of the world, 

And empt the final vial, pour'd in wrath 

On much offending man. Then from that fields 

Wide as thy limits, Palestine, and drench'd 

Knee-deep in gore, shall rise the mingled screams 

Of vultures tearing royal prey, the groans 

Of nVd despair, the wild outrageous yells 

Of dying blasphemy, mingled with shouts 

Of triumph, till angelic lauds compose 

The tumult, hymning, as in Bethlehem's field, 

Peace and good-will to man ; th' infernal host 

In full array defeated, and condemn'd 

To their dark mansions, there to mourn in chains 

A thousand years. Henceforth, O God ! thy will 

Be done on earth, as evermore in heav'n. 

These days will surely come ; the fearful when 
Eludes short-sighted man. Whether the babe, 



80 RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 

Who in mute wonder eyes thee while thy soul 
Anticipates these horrors, and compares 
The sacred volume with the passing scene, 
Startled at each similitude, amaz'd 
At each fulfilment, and with shuddering awe 
Expecting new events, prelusive all, 
And ushering in the closing scenes of time, — 
Whether thy darling child " with multitudes* 
Shall in the valley of decision stand" 
Seal'd by his God, or warring with the hosts 
Doom'd to confusion, spoil, or massacre, 
Ask not of erring man. One care be thine, 
To bring tby treasure early to the ark ; 
'Tis only safe beneath the care of Him 
Who, in the present evermore beholds 
The future, and the past. His providence 
Regards his meanest creatures^ while his word 
Measures the date of worlds. Whether this clay 
Shall wake from death re-edified, or chang'd 
As erst the patriarch and the prophet, rise 
* Joel, 3d chapter, 14th verse* 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. 81 

To meet the Lord in air, Him it must meet 
Thrice blest, if as a servant, not a foe. 

Sure are the daily visitings of light ; 
Sure is the course of planetary worlds ; 
Sure is the stroke of death ; but surer far 
Thy word, O Prophecy ! The time shall come 
When the quench'd sun in chaos shall dissolve, 
The planetary worlds start from their spheres, 
And death resign his sceptre, swallowed up 
In victory ; but thy resplendent light 
Shall then shine brighter, emanation pure 
Of light essential, uncreate, divine ! 



B5 



EDUCATION. 



ARGUMENT. 

The mother's duty changes as her children advance in years. 
The boys must be placed under the superintendence of 
their own sex, as the fittest way of acquiring manliness of 
character. Wholesome effect of the discipline of public 
schools on nursery-tyrants. Story of Cyrus and his school- 
fellows. The intrusion of vice into public seminaries not a 
sufficient reason against sendi ng boys out. Domestic educa- 
tion often forms timid, self-important, or sensual characters. 
The moral principles of boys may be secured by early reli- 
gious instruction, and good examples at home. Domestic 
education is preferable for daughters. Unfortunate predi- 
lection of the inferior classes for showy, superficial instruc- 
tion. The cottager's daughter described. The yeoman's 
anxiety for appropriate instruction. Portrait of a liberally 
educated, elegant family, who, by their example, refine their 
inferiors. Accomplishments are too eagerly pursued by 
the higher classes. Examples of superior cultivation in 
Lady Jane Grey, Lady Mary Sidney, and the second Sueen 
Mary. True and false courtesy. Strict attention is ne- 
cessary from the mother till her eldest daughter supplies 
her place. 



BOOK III. 

EDUCATION. 

Say, in this world of mutability 

Where shall we rest secure, or pitch our tent 

Beyond the painful visitings of change ? 

Has Duty too turn'd recreant ? Did he fix 

The careful mother in the narrow walk 

Of her own family, and bid her eye 

Direct the little commonwealth, till use 

Render'd confinement pleasure, and the prate 

Of gay simplicity and wonder bland, 

Than deep discussion or colloquial wit 

More grateful. Tyrant ! dost thou now enjoin 

Those tender arms with lax embrace to yield 

Their dear delights to strangers ? Must those eyes ? 

Fix'd long with rapture on the winning forms 

Of opening beauty and expanding grace, 



86 EDUCATION. 

Seek other objects, by disuse become 
Distasteful ? or else bid them in despair 
Close on the dull vacuity of life, 
Its occupation ended. Yet, again, 
Learn from th' aerial tenantry. Behold, 
The swallow tends with diligence her young, 
Till their fledg'd pinions gather strength to skim 
Th' elastic air, and shame dependent sloth; 
Bidding their vigorous owners seek the pool, 
That colony of gay ephemeras 
Sporting in sunshine, or with level sweep 
Entrap the gadfly, lest autumnal storms 
Surprise them unprepar'd, to speed their long 
And painful voyage o'er th' Atlantic surge 
For many a night and day, till gain'cl at last 
" The isles call'd Fortunate," where summer reigns 
Endless., and all is life, and all is joy. 

So must the mother to the discipline 
Of stern coercion and collision yield 



EDUCATION. 87 

The pilgrims of this world, adventurers bound 

To isles not fabled, nor of dubious search . 

Hast thou by wise restrictions, nicely join'd 

With tender care, knit into useful grace 

The noble form of man ? Hast thou subclu'd 

The too redundant, pertinacious growth 

Of daring, stedfast fortitude, and check 'd 

Keen emulation, ere it touched the verge 

Of morbid envy ? Hast thou deeply school'd 

Thy pupil in the code of truth, ere pride 

Made him indocile, or a pagan creed 

Charm'd his rapt fancy with chimeras sweet, 

Dear even to age, to visionary youth 

Most dear, in witching harmony convey'd, 

And grac'd by learning with distinctions high 

And honourable praise ? Hast thou done this, 

Handmaid of God ? Well hast thou done : now yield 

Thy agile, virtuous, well- instructed boy 

To those who know life's subtle maze, untried 

By the safe ignorance which bounds thy walk 



$8 EDUCATION. 

To the domestic pale. The future heir 

Of thy manorial honours, and the youth 

Destin'd to carve his fortunes, must o'erleap 

That bound, and with his fellow-citizens 

Contend in conflict skilful, but not base, 

Arduous, not vicious. On a bolder scale 

Than female softness can project, with nerves 

Brac'd tighter than maternal tenderness 

Can strain, must man be form'd, intrepid man, 

Lord of this lower world, pilot of state, 

Rough mariner, pilgrim of every soil, 

Oft shipwreck'd, oft benetted round with foes, 

Destin'd to hardy toil, and stern rebuffs, 

But never to despair. Ev'n now thou spurn' st 

The puling marmoset, who shrinks from pain, 

And bids his sisters save him from the wasp 

That buzzes round his sugar'd cates, yet tears 

Their dolls in vengeance. Thus in early life 

Look tyranny and cowardice, anon 

To scowl in forms more hateful. Would'st thou cleanse 



EDUCATION. S9 

The soil of these curs'd weeds ? Alas ! thy tilth 
Will only skim the surface, while his nurse 
Whispers young master that the day will come 
He need not mind mamma ; born to command 
A vassal world, and to his sovereign will 
Bend the hereditary slaves destin'd 
To serve his greatness. In thy studious walks, 
Wintonia, or where Henry's holy shade 
Listen'd entranced, what time his antique towers 
Rang with the harp of Gray, whose dulcet song 
Rose o'er the silvery Thames, this baby king 
Must abdicate his power, and his smooth hands 
Harden with strenuous exercise ; for he 
Must climb the aspen, stem the wintry flood, 
Delve the green turf for worms, explore the pool 
For cresses, or the moor for plover's eggs, 
Just as the lordly comrade whom he serves 
Commands his labours ; till, by studious skill, 
He vaults from form to form, and gains at last 
Distinctions hardly earn'd. and nobler far 



90 EDUCATION. 

Than those chance arbitrates. Invested now 
With power, but taught by service to command 
With temper'd justice, and to fear the scoffs 
Of young compatriots, glowing with disdain 
Of cruelty and wrong; dreading to soil 
The gloss of letter'd glory with reproach 
Sarcastical, authority turns mild, 
Wears the sweet aspect of protecting love, 
Participation generous, and benign 
Instruction. Virtue ripens thus ; thus forms 
The patron, and the master, and the friend. 
By suffering taught compassion, temper'd rule 
By strict obedience ; led to just renown 
By painful, slow progression ; forc'd to feel 
Hank cannot patch the tatter'd cloak of shame, 
Nor from derision and opprobrium guard 
Oppression, insolence, deceit, and wrong ; 
The cocker'd hero of the nursery 
Turns manly from necessity, conceals 
His wants, bis whims, his terrors, and his pouts, 



EDUCATION. 91 

Unheeded, or by shouts reprov'd, perchance 
Vanquish' d by rougher discipline. He sees 
Proud self-importance slighted, while esteem, 
And confidence, and firm adherence crown 
The curate's boy as captain ; for his parts 
Lov'd by his master, for his manners more 
By those who see him in his hours of sport: 
Faithful and valiant, bold in enterprise, 
Wise in contrivance, scrupulously just, 
And generous ev'n in enmity ; in love 
Warm and unshaken, both in deed and word 
Veracious, and abhorrent of disguise. 

So 'mid his playmates shone Mandane's son*, 
The heir of Media, Persia's future lord. 
Bred in a shepherd's guise ; with matchless skill 
He forc'd the haughty satrap to confess 
Virtue's divine supremacy; and train'd 
On swift Araxes' banks by youthful sports 
* Cyrus the Great. 



92 EDUCATION. 

The heroes destined to subdue thy strength 

Vast Babylon, terror of nations, girt 

With walls immense, and turrets manifold ; ■ 

Invincible, till He who metes the term 

Of empires, weighed thee in his righteous scale, 

And found thee wanting. From the boast of kings, 

Henceforth for ever chang'd to miry swamps, 

Where serpents hiss and mournful bitterns scream, 

Thy towers, thy palaces, thy guilt, thy name, 

Swept from the earth by an Almighty arm, 

Wielding destruction's besom vast and dire*. 

Yet in those haunts where active virtue first 
Unfolds his eaglet-wings, where friendship's fires 
Enkindle, and the thirst for honest praise 
Pains the desiring soul, as yet unknown 
To glory's bright record, the haggard form 
Of danger lurks, to scare with fancied ill* 

* Isaiah, 14th chapter, 23d verse. 



EDUCATION. 

The distant mother, as she ponders oft 
The hair-breadth 'scapes of daring enterprise, 
Or ills more dreadful, from enticements dire 
Of sin, parent of shame, remorse, and death ! 
Yet say, is there a path on earth secure 
From her contagion ? If in public schools, 
Or academic groves, she stalks re veal' d 
In all her horrors, underneath thy wing 
The sorceress will steal, and deeply taint 
Thy guarded nursling with unsocial pride, 
And stubborn self-complacence, or unman 
His timid spirit with chimeras vain ; 
Till, shrinking from his proper task, he flies 
To criminal obscurity, the dupe 
Of knaves, the jest of sycophants, perchance 
The slave of grossest appetites; yet, still 
Aping strict morals and sententious worth, 
He raves with maudlin anger at the world 
Of which he nothing knows. His flatterers 
Applaud the dirge monotonous, and drown 
With many a glass their grief for wicked man, 



9± EDUCATION. 

Nor to the magisterial powers who rule 
In learning's public walks impute the blame, 
If vice there triumph in her numerous slaves: 
Mothers, 'tis yours to form a reptile swarm 
Of sceptics, or a host of Christians fraught 
With faith and hope divine. 'Tis also yours 
To sow the seeds of moral purity, 
Or fan the infant-passions till they blaze, 
Fed with infernal fuel. Is your home 
The hall of temperate Agis ? Are your feasts 
Like those Augustus spread, while round him sat 
The Julian line ? Plain was their food, but high 
Their minds regal'd, list'ning to Virgil's song, 
Or the Venusian lyrist, on whose head 
Doves scatter' d laurels *. Have you vow'cl your house, 
Like victor Joshua's, consecrate to heaven ? 
Or have the demons gluttony, and lust, 
And vanity there hVd their teraphim, 
As in the court of Comus, or the sty 
Of Circe, or Acrasia's dangerous bower ? 
* Horace, see Ode 4th, Book 3d. 



EDUCATION. 95 

What send you to be school'd ? The virgin wax, 

Docile, or printed with the seal of truth 

Indelible ? The pliant ozier, bent 

To useful purposes ? The fertile vine, 

Whose rich redundance and luxuriant shoots 

Ask and repay the pruner's skill ? Alas ! 

'Tis oft the blinking mole, whose narrow ken 

Turns earthward ; or the crab with crooked stalk, 

Stubborn excrescences, and fruit austere ; 

Or parasitic mistletoe, who delves 

Her root unnatural, all culture scorns, 

And if transplanted dies. On the wild gorse 

Look for the rose of Shiraz, ere ye seek 

Knowledge or virtue from the ill-train'd sons 

Of blind indulgence, luxury, or pride. 

The boys remov'd where harsher discipline 
Best forms the patriot and the hero, still, 
Like the vale-lily, 'neath their parent shade 
The daughters flourish, all unmeet to bear 



96 EDUCATION. 

The noontide ray or buffet of the winds. 

In cool obscurity they ripen slow, 

Their bashful beauty by a mother's eye 

Noted ; if wise, not prais'd : for well she knows 

That affectation with distorted grace 

Can warp the fairest form, and envy dim 

The brightest eyes, while bold coquetry aims 

Her darts unheeded, or but scares the prey 

She means to vanquish. Modest flowers adorn 

The spring, and in the spring of life no grace 

So sweet as modesty. 'Tis a home-plant 

Which dies with hot-house culture, but demands 

The kind refreshings of maternal love, 

And cautious praise, and gentle precept, still 

Led by example in the daily walk 

Of uniform propriety. The scene 

Where woman acts is home ; be home the school 

In which she learns her part. If grac'd by sense, 

With leisure blest, and sanctified by worth, 

Let the preceptor mother dedicate 



EDUCATION. 97 

To her lov'd girls her well expended hours, 
And train their hearts to virtue and to heaven. 
The harvest of her labours shall adorn 
Autumnal life, when like the vine she shows, 
Bearing her purple clusters, precious all, 
And goodly to behold. Then the rich dew 
Of filial love falls on her silver locks, 
Unction divine ! and grateful duty warms 
A bosom callous to all other joys. 

Ah ! self- afflicting ignorance, which prompts 
The fashion-loving dame, low-bred, yet born 
A votaress of gentility, to lead 
Her uninstructed daughters to the fair 
Of vanity, to barter grace for show, 
Plain sense for pertness, honesty and truth 
For simulation, industry for taste, 
If taste it can be deem'd to do that ill, 
Which to do well in her were idleness. 
O rest contented, rustic wives ; retain 
F 



93 EDUCATION. 

Your daughters at the spinning-wheel and churn ; 
Avoid the name of school, till schools arise 
To teach true knowledge, not accomplishments, 
And with simplicity of speech disclaim 
Young lady-pupils and young lady-arts. 
Girls are grown scarce, plain housewives out of vogue, 
Hodge cannot find a mate ; but Hodge himself 
Is chang'd to Roger Riot, or Beau Bob : 
How fortunate! for Jobson's daughter Peg 
Is just return d Miss Margaret, complete 
With six months' education. She talks French, 
Sings, paints, draws, dances, thumbs an old spinet, 
And shines in works of uselessness. Her dower 
Is fifty pounds : Bob wins her. Happy pair ! 
Scon shall the parish-vestry know your bliss, 
When, with undarned hose and shirt unwash'd, 
The thriftless husband asks a weekly sum 
To feed his wife, who can do nothing. " What ! 
Six months at school ?" " Ah, masters, that undid 
All that her mother taught in sixteen years." 



EDUCATION. 99 

Turn we from folly, when its stamp thus seems 
Too gross for satire ; verging to the bounds 
Of wild insanity, it asks restraints, 
Not pasquinades : now fairer game appears, 
The wealthy yeoman's daughter. Must she sit, 
And rusticate at home, untrain'd, untaught, 
Her mother a shrewd housewife, and her sire 
Sordid, and gross, and ignorant ? Must she 
Be a mere vehicle to carry down 
His tenements and meadows to a race 
Dead as her ancestors to liberal worth, 
Hard as their gold, and stubborn as their lands ? 
Her eye bespeaks intelligence, her smile 
Benignity. She wishes to oblige, 
And pants for knowledge. Sweet one, I must wail 
The sad alternative which bids thee stay 
The untaught child of nature ; or exchange 
Thy pure simplicity for guile, and art, 
And studied awkwardness. Thou hast no skill 
To note and reprobate the screw, the twist, 



100 EDUCATION. 

The idle loll, the bridle, and the toss, 

When shown to thee for graces, and withheld 

From copying purer models. Hence, alas ! 

Thy pretty mouth will grin when it should smile ; 

Thy feet will amble, not pace smooth ; thy arms 

Fidget and twirl, not drop with quiet ease, 

Or bend in graceful fold. Thy governess 

Proclaims this fashion, and thy mother's eyes, 

Which follow thee admiring, are unapt 

To recognise the cheat who stole her cash, 

And spoil'd her girl : a mincing witch, whose spells 

Have hunted nature from her rustic burghs, 

And scattered hamlets, late her reign — now given 

To squinting affectation, who all day 

Sits making nets for lovers. Fool ! the world 

Has other business than to look on thee, 

Save with one casual glance of hate or scorn. 

O for the dawn of reason rightly nam'd, 
Reason on God depending, and in him 



EDUCATION. 101 

Seeking perfection ! Blessed harbinger 
Of peace and joy, when will thy dawn arise ! 
Then education, schooled by truth, shall turn 
Her culture to the temper and the heart. 
There, while ameliorating time completes 
Her labours slowly, shall she delve and prune, 
Root out each vice indigenous, and plant 
Virtues, the growth of Canaan's heavenly clime, 
Odorous, healing. Patient shall she toil, 
Lay line on line, till, well compact and firm, 
A temple rises, founded on a base 
Of adamant, unlike th' infernal pile 
Of Pandemonium, which spontaneous rose 
To fifes and timbrels, glittering but unsound. 

Then shall the tongue, and eye, and voice, andheart, 
Chime in sweet unison ; no studied smile 
(Mock gentleness) shall part the lip, while rage, 
Envy, or malice, in the guilty breast, 
Stretch merit on the iron-rack of spleen, 



102 EDUCATION. 

Tho' scourg'd themselves with scorpions. Knowledge, 

Wandering no more in fairy land to twine [then, 

Moonshine and gossamer, from the grave scroll 

Of history shall glean experienced saws, 

And applicable wisdom ; or, perchance, 

Hold converse high with nature, and inquire 

Her author and her laws. Meanwhile applied 

To useful purpose, like Lemuel's spouse, 

Shall occupation for her household weave 

Scarlet or Tyrian purple, meet attire 

For dignity decorous ; or prepare, 

Like Dorcas, coats and garments for the poor^ 

Provident husbandry, repaid by heaven 

With robes unperishing, and glorious all. 

No more shall levity, and her twin-witch, 

Pale dissipation, people home with fiends 

And spectres, but the household-gods shall sit 

Smiling around the hearth; while vanity, 

Like a poor bankrupt-milliner, reloads 

Her caravan with frippery, beads, and toys* 



EDUCATION. 103 

Complaining, tho' her wares are excellent, 
The ladies are no fashionists. O time, 
Speed this auspicious aera ! but these eyes, 
Dim with long search, will close ere it appears. 

Sick of wise ignorance, distorted grace, 
111-nianner'd freedom, and perverted taste, 
I ask the Muse to bear me where yon oaks 
Shade the baronial residence ; there sits 
Almeria, late the grace of courts, retir'd 
Among her daughters. Industry and skill 
Direct their labours, while instruction sage 
Guides the alternate reader through the stores 
Of knowledge and of truth, succeeded soon 
By strains angelic ; or th' unfetter'd feet 
Spring in the agile dance, and wintry days 
Conclude with healthful exercise, begun 
By visits to the dairy, or the farm, 
Or garden-labours, or kind gossipings 
Among the villagers, the poor, the sick, 



104 EDUCATION. 

The helpless, the infirm. Nor these alone : / 
Enlighten' d charity has other claims 
Save those of indigence, nor to her purse 
Limits her distributions. In the robe 
Of sweet authority she conquers spleen, 
Disarms brutality with smiles, and warms 
With her bright beams unfeeling avarice, 
Brooding mid cobwebs on his unsunn'd hoards; 
Till, not from pity, but from pride, he drops 
His dole unsanctified, yet precious still 
To thy vast cravings, shiveriug indigence ! 

Thus affable, beneficent, and kind, 
The lovely visitants impart the charms 
Of unaffected worth, the ready grace 
Of native condescension, eyes that dart 
Th' unstudied glance of love, and the sweet tone 
Of words mellifluous, dropping truth and sense 
On the charm'd ear. Th' astonished rustics hail 
The gracious strangers, all enamour 'd now, 



EDUCATION. 105 

Of nature polish'd, not transpos'd by art, 
They curse the limping sorceress who requir'd 
Their homage as gentility. O name 
More idoliz'd than wisdom, since thy sway 
Is universal, oft reveal thy face, 
Lest some false Florimel usurp thy throne. 

As Ceres, wandering through Achaia, chang'd 
A barbarous people, and a barren clime 
To copious harvests, and a golden age 
Of plenty, harmony, content, and joy ; 
Blessings rernember'd long, whether beside 
Thy stream, Ilyssus, grateful Athens slew 
Her victim-ram ; or, with transcendent pomp, 
Eleusis form'd her votive games, combin'd 
With rites mysterious, in deep sanctity, 
And awful gloom involved : so shall the smiles, 
The mild persuasion, and the manner'd ease 
Of nymphs like thine, Almeria, give our fields 
The purer charms of courts. Sweetness shall reign 
v 5 



106 EDUCATION. 

Without its base concomitant, disguise ; 
Grace shall unite with kind attention, prone 
To feel another's wo. Sorrow shall change 
Loud petulance to patience ; ease assume 
An air benignant ; and Sir Calidore, 
As in the days of Gloriane, overthrow* 
The blatant beast, monster of insolence, 
Assailing virtue with a thousand tongues. 

Ye who aspire to please, yet slight the charms 
Of plain simplicity (a rustic maid 
Close clad in russet, with a hat of straw 
Shading her auburn locks, an artless blowze, 
Tho' much belov'd), first learn that elegance, 
Native to some high-favour'd, must by most 
With studious search be woo'd. Three graces join 
To fold the robe of Cypria's queen ; the face 
Apelles painted, caught from every nymph, 
Where every nymph is beauty, some soft charm 
* Fairy £ueen, Book 6. Canto 12. 



E DU CAT ION. 10/ 

To form perfection, blended nice, and join'd 
In one bright whole, not like the motley coat 
Of mirth-provoking Harlequin. The grace 
Which floats o'er yon fine figure is a veil 
Subtile as gossamer ; thy grogram net 
Is not more like it than the whalebone-hoop 
Of stirTen'd tiffany of elder times. 
Long did the mother brace the pliant arms, 
Restrain th' elastic step, and bend each limb 
With gentle undulation, ere, complete, 
Belinda darted through the mazy dance, 
A new Terpsichore ; like her of old 
Crown'd with green laurels, and as loosely rob'd, 
While the sweet timbrel in her hand resounds 
Responsive to her steps ; now vaulting high, 
Now skimming lightly the meandering maze, 
The airy figure with each stated bend 
Twines graceful, while the floating drapery 
Unstudied, yet with nice adjustment, falls. 
Peals of applause succeed, and Parisot 



108 EDUCATION. 

And Polymela must resign the palm. 

Ah ! seek it not, ye mothers, dearly bought 

By the pure blush of modesty, content 

With sober praise, or calm pre-eminence 

In unobtrusive goodness. Years of toil, 

And hours of torture, stolen from wise research, 

Or active virtue, gave a high-born maid, 

Dian's chaste votaress, the degrading skill 

To ape the hireling's meretricious charms. 

Nor praise I those estrone' d by love of song ; 
Song without sense, unlike the living strains 
That Clio pour'd to Phoebus, or thy notes, 
Cecilia, which from high and heavenly quires, 
From golden harps and dulcet harmonies, 
Caird down angelic visitants to hear 
The lauds of mortals. Different far the aims 
Of her who immolates at music's shrine 
Her gagg'd and fetter'd hours. Awful offence. 
Inexpiable ! Destinies sublime, 



EDUCATION. 109 

High duties, firm resolves, important cares, 

Await each child of Adam ; not the toils 

Of the cag'd bullfinch, who, from morn to noon, 

From noon to silent evening, trills the cliaunt 

Of joyless indolence. Unknown to him 

The nectar'd sweets which occupation spreads 

On herb and flower, on heaths or sunny glens, 

To solace the industrious bee. Unknown 

To thee, fair slave of fashion and of sound, 

That harmony sublime the approving voice 

Of conscience warbles, when, at close of day, 

It chaunts the vespers of content, and pours 

The requiem sleep best loves. Strains so divine 

Thou leav'st to the poor curate's weary girl, 

Returning from the dying villager 

Her kindness fail'd to save. Dearer to thee 

Is the bravissiment of gay Sir Plume, 

Or the half-smile and low responsive hum 

By which Beau Dilletanti deigns to note 

The measure, while thy hands, with nimble sleight, 



110 EDUCATION. 

Hun o'er the trembling keys, and thy forc'd voice. 
With alto quavers and convulsive shakes, 
Adorns the nothing of the season, learn'd 
And ridicul'd by all. For such an end 
Giv'st thou the hours and pains which might suffice 
To form a Verulain, more than the term, 
Fair spouse of Dudley *, which the iron-times 
Gave to thy brief but well expended life ! 
Ambition's victim ! learning's paragon ! 
Martyr of truth ! and miracle of worth ! 
Thine was the lure of beauty, thine the pride 
Of birth, from kings deriv'd ; love too was thine, 
Happy connubial love. Yet couldst thou spurn 
The bribe of added years, and meekly lay 
Thy golden ringlets on the block, distain'd 
With blood far dearer than thine own ; his blood, 
Thy lord's, thy Dudley's, whom thou mightst have sav'd 
By turning recreant to thy God. As erst, 
In thy paternal towers, thou didst prefer 
* Lady Jane Grey. 



EDUCATION, ] 11 

Thy holy meditations to the chace, 

Or noisy revelry, so thou couldst die 

Rather than swerve from duty. But thy youth 

Laps'd not in vain attainments. Thou didst drink 

Largely at truth's full fountain, unprofan'd 

By doubt or error ; and the Attic bee *, 

Who soar'd on mortal pinion till he touched 

The empyrean heaven, fed thee with sweets, 

Cull'd from his well-stor'd hive. Nor was thy stock 

Of female graces scant, rich in desert, 

But richest, wisest, happiest, thou didst gain 

The pearl inestimable. In years a child, 

Amid the shipwreck of thy earthly hopes, 

Through troublous seas thy bark shot straight to heavn. 

Such are the glorious fruits life's early hours 
Well husbanded produce. Mothers, attend ! 
Nor on a soft Armida, skill'd in arts 
Voluptuous, waste your cares, which, well applied, 
* Plato. 



112 EDUCATION. 

Might fashion angels dower' d with gifts divine, 
Nor less invincible for human charms. 

Twas in these saintly labours pass'd the hours 
Of rash Northumberland's chaste daughter*, wife 
Of uncorrupted Sidney. She abjur'd 
The vain pursuits that lur'd her father's fall, 
Devote to holiest duties. Where the oaks 
Of Penshurst wave o'er Medway's virgin flood, 
She rear'd the rose of Britain, and its sword, 
In every region, and in every age 
Sacred alike to virtue and the Muse ; 
Blending high talents with the chaster praise 
Of pious sanctity, yet all deriv'd 
From the maternal themes, the rich result 
Of unobtrusive graces, in the school 
Of christian wisdom early train'd : there sat 



* The Lady Mary Sidney, daughter of Dudley Duke of 
Northumberland, wife to Sir Henry Sidney, and mother to the 
renowned Sir Philip Sidney and Mary Countess of Pembroke. 






EDUCATION. 113 

The parent-tutoress, there young Philip's eyes 
First flashed divine intelligence, while truth 
From Mary's rosy lips in lisping strains 
Sooth'd the rapt mother; while, by faith inspir'd, 
She saw immortal crowns and lucid robes 
Invest her angel-offspring, doom'd to stand 
Conspicuous in an age most eminent 
In the long records of Britannia's fame. 

Who shone in courts the fairest of the fair ? 
Who guided England's helm with matchless skill ? 
Who as a woman charm'd, and as a wife 
Was best belov'd ? Thy blameless spouse, Nassau, 
Delight of Britain, glory of her time, 
Virtue's firm friend, the solacer of grief, 
Oppression's scourge, and patroness of law ; 
For whom the Muse still, with regretful tears, 
Bedews the wreaths sepulchral, twin'd long since 
By hands divine for Mary's early bier, 



114 EDUCATION. 

O princess ! while the splendour of thy name 
Wakes emulation in the kindred breasts 
Of those fair graces who on Albion shed 
Influence benign, in virtue as in birth 
Pre-eminent,, still on the pure record 
Of thy unsullied life maternal love 
Shall deeply muse, enamour'd of thy fame, 
And oft dismiss her daughters to the school 
Which taught thee wisdom. From the sacred page, 
Theme of thy daily studies, British maids 
Shall learn thy lovely virtues, sanctitude, 
And manners pure, humility and truth, 
With courtesy their offspring. How unlike 
The changeling who usurps her name, begot 
By pride on artifice, and trained to cheat 
Simple credulity, a village-child, 
Too apt to gaze at mountebanks, and toss 
Its savings to the party-colour'd knave 
Who bows so gracefully, and talks so smooth. 



EDUCATION, 115 

With guile as palpable, false courtesy 
Wins by grimace the vulgar ; fawns, and grins, 
And licks the dust in humbleness ; yet still, 
Devote to Mammon's service, not to Cod's, 
It weighs with nicest poise the future gain 
Of its assum'd abasement. Mothers, chase 
The sorceress from your haunts, and in her stead 
Welcome the glorious archetype, heav'n-born, 
Whose smile is beauty, and whose deeds are love. 

As a capacious garden, richly spread 
With fruits and flowers, the growth of happier climes, 
While spring leads on the verdant hours, demands 
The swain's incessant labour to defend 
The frail exotics from protracted frost, 
Damp mildew, or the insect-swarms who ride 
The arid blasts which sweep Sarmatia's wastes, 
Or Greenland's magazines of ice, the hoard 
Of many a thousand winter. Nor remits 
The gardener's care, tho' soft Favonius leads 
More genial seasons, scattering from his lap 



116 EDUCATION. 

Garlands for Flora, for Pomona flowers 

Pregnant with juicy fruit. Then liberal grows 

TV offensive weed, and chokes th' encumber'd soil. 

Bent with redundant bloom, the slender stalk 

Demands support, and the luxuriant shoot 

Calls on the skilful pruner to correct 

Its wild abundance. Through the winding paths 

The admiring visitant walks, pleas'd to view 

Order, and grace, and beauty. The brown swain, 

Bent on his mattock, listens to this praise 

With honest gratulation. Such delight 

Warms the maternal bosom, when the dance, 

The crowded gala, or, best seen, the bowers 

Of private life, disclose the graceful charms 

Of her fair daughters ; fair as Amoret, 

When in the lap of womanhood she sat* 

Retired in conscious loveliness, and charm'd 

The gallant Scudamore, ere Brusiane, 

Fell spoiler, broke the bands of plighted love. 

* Fairy Sueen, Book 4. Canto 10. Stanza 52. 



EDUCATION. 117 

" How vast the mother's cares ! how long her 
Cries sighing indolence. Yet brace thy nerves, [toils !" 
And gird thy mind to duty. Well perform'd, 
Soon shall a willing partner at thy side 
Rise diligent, relieve thy anxious pains> 
Or yield to thee the solace failing health 
And wasted strength require. Who now presides 
O'er the still school ? Some watchful genius wears 
An elder sister's form ; restraint and awe 
Seem half relax'd, but. tenderness prevails, 
And kind entreaty, and remember'd claims 
Of confidence most precious, fan the spark 
Of latent emulation to a flame, 
Vivid, yet genial. " See/' observe the young, 
" Our dearest sister's honours all obtain'd 
By industry and rectitude. We, too, 
Tutor' d by time and study, may, like her, 
Become our mother's friend. Dear name ! Best gift 
Her kindness can bestow." Thus ruminate 
The rosy pupils, as with added zeal 



US EDUCATION. 

They con their tasks, or trace the flowing line. 

The beauteous teacher, with benignant grace, 

Impartial turns to each, reproves with pain, 

Commends with rapture, and with kisses greets 

The infant prattler, early brought to learn 

Restraint, first law of discipline, and lisp 

Its criss-cross row. But should some wayward girl, 

Froward or fraudulent, compel appeal 

To strict authority, all mild reproof, 

All lenient measures vain, — with throbbing heart, 

And cheek all wet with tears, the sister yields 

To the just judge, determines to be firm, 

And leads the culprit, pale through fear and shame, 

To the maternal presence, tells the fault 

She half excuses, begs but one reproof, 

Hopes reformation, and with joy admits 

The scant apology, Bending, she meets 

A shy embrace with open arms, and vows 

Love was the potent orator who rous'd 

Reluctant anger. But, if stubborn still, 



EDUCATION. 119 

Impenitent, incorrigible, nVd 
In sullen pride, the bold offender scorns 
Counsel or threat, — ere awful punishment 
Bares her firm arm, th' accuser turns aside, 
Hides with her hands the burst of generous wo, 
And, what she dares not deprecate, deplores. 

Thus, while the sword of pestilence or war 
Unsheath'd, impends o'er an offending realm, 
Weeps the commissioned angel to foresee 
The chastisements of mercy : higher thoughts 
Blend with these sad relen tings, which conclude 
In loud hosannas to the righteous Judge, 
Who, like a pitying father, smites to save. 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 



ARGUME N T. 

The sons 1 return home, after completing their education. A 
happj- family living in domestic union. Such scenes fre- 
quent in former times. An old baron's household described. 
Savage life tends to strengthen the claims of kindred. Pa- 
triarchal manners. Domestic pursuits of yeomen, when 
the family joined to cultivate the common farm. Change 
of manners, younger sons beiug now obliged to seek other 
occupations. Home is then felt to be dear, and its delights 
unequalled, though its restraints were once irksome. The 
parent fixes the child's employment. Painful anticipation 
of the mother. Mutual pangs of separation. Retrospec- 
tion of home in more advanced life. Maternal anxiety 
continues. Memory draws flattering perspectives. The 
mother's duty with respect to her sons is now limited to 
prayer and instruction. Feelings of a mother whose son 
attains distinguished eminence. Consolation of those 
who have only daughters. A mother's anxiety for them 
during the period of courtship. Portents of marriage. 
Description of a happy union. The mother must subdue 
her reluctance to part with a beloved daughter, and yield 
her former pre-eminence in her affections. Wisdom and 
mercy of Providence in providing for man successive at- 
tachments and connections. Consoling prospect of the 
veneration and love which a good mother's memory re- 
ceives from her descendants. 



BOOK IV. 

SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

J3ut while the well-train'd daughters thus improve 

In years, iii charms, iu virtues, aud forebode 

Happy alliances, and large increase 

Of honour to the parent-house, the sons, 

Ripen' d to manly vigour, and endu'd 

With learning and intrepid virtue, firm 

As their congenial oaks, return to prop 

Those lovely plants, who, like the woodbine, crave 

Protection, and with honied sweets perfume 

The stem round which their tendrils fondly twine. 

And happy he, whose envied lot allows 

Tranquil domestic joys — the social meal, 

The evening festival, the morning lounge, 

A smiling sister hanging on each arm, 

Are his ; his, too, the intellectual feast 



I24t SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Of confidential friendship, unrestrain'd 
By jealousy, unchill'd by cold neglect, 
Unwarp'd by rival interests. Best regale 
Of pilgrim-man, while journeying to the realm 
Where, in its native soil, this golden fruit 
Swells with nectareous pulp ; not, as on earth, 
Austere and dwindling, like a southern plant 
Transplanted to some rigid arctic clime. 

Yet pause a while : the family of love, 
Cultur'd by taste, by truth and virtue train'd, 
Invite th' enamour d Muse. Whether they wind 
O'er hill and valley, culling herb and flower, 
Or in the garden's shrubby pale enclos'd, 
Pursue the blissful arts in Eden learn' d ; 
Here, as of old > the sons of Adam choose 
The rougher part ; they pulverize the soil, 
Press on the loosen'd banks the massy roil, 
Or bend with strenuous arms the osier-staves 
To form the arbour, meditated scene 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 125 

Of social joys. Round this thy daughters, Eve, 

Entwine a verdant canopy, composed 

Of every graceful climber. Fragrant here, 

Clematis creeps, the prickly eglantine, 

The jasmine and the woodbine, sweetest plant 

That scents the breath of Flora. Or they deck 

The shelter'd southern bank with vernal flowers, 

To greet returning Phoebus, and compose 

A May-day wreath. Here, too, when autumn chills 

The dews of eve, their choice exotics brave 

Awhile the tempest ; pensile fuschia hangs 

Her scarlet bloom, and coronilla shows 

The cowslip-hue and soft perfumes of spring ; 

Th' odorous myrtle waves his snowy crest, 

And anagalis to the dying year 

Unfolds its purple flowers. Ev'n when without 

The rough storm beats, still round the parlour-fire 

A happy circle meet. Music, and song, 

And study, nor abstract nor frivolous, 

Labours of taste, or charity, or use, 



126 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN, 

Employ the day; and when the shutters close, 

Stripp'd of his icy beard and furrow'd frown, 

Old Hyems sits a palmer at the hearth, 

Partakes the wassail goblet, and repeats 

Sage chronicles, and saws, and legends wild ; 

Or, dearer still, recalls the sportive scenes 

Of early life, the school-boy's stratagem, 

The truant's dangerous scrape, the college-prank, 

And every slight excess of buoyant youth, 

When the warm pulse beats high, which prudent age, 

Ev'n while it censures, pardons. Mid the scene, 

The mother sits as priestess at the shrine 

Of blameless joy, and, ere it swerves to ill, 

Checks its exuberance. Every word of love 

Swells her responsive heart ; but should a cloud, 

Transient and rlecker'd as the misty veil 

Which, mid the fervour of a summer's morn, 

Flits lightly o'er the sun-beams, chill the glow 

Of harmony most cordial, her mild eye 

Reproves the offending child ; and oft she quits 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 127 

The circle for her oratory, there 

To sanctify festivity with praise, 

And, like th' Arabian patriarch *, supplicate 

Her children may not in their feasts offend. 

Time was such scenes were frequent, now denied, 
Save to a happy few. The feudal lord 
Reign'd in his castle, and his numerous sons, 
The bulwarks of his ancient house, partook 
The common banquet ; at one manger fed 
Their snorting chargers ; in one banner'd hall 
Their spears, and bows, and shields, and helmets hung. 
Then, while the brother-chieftains, side by side, 
Led forth their kindred vassals to the chase, 
Or mightier game of war, graceful and grave 
The noble matron to the chapel call'd 
Her daughters and her handmaids, there to chaunt 
Matins, and, kneeling, tell their holy beads, 
Imploring for their valiant brothers fame, 
* Job, 1st chapter, 5th verse. 



128 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN, 

Prosperity, and safety ; for their foes 
Confusion and destruction. Sinful prayer, 
And unreceiv'd by Him, the common sire 
Of all mankind. Yet thus affection knit 
The strong, fraternal cord. Thus every house 
Became a little monarchy, compos'd 
Of children-citizens, and kindred slaves, 
Distinguish' d from the world beside, which seem'd 
A horde unknown of aliens or of foes. 

Still lives to foes this strong hostility 
Of blood, this close communion with the tribes 
Who roam through Samojeda, or the wilds 
Which stretch from Missisrppi to the shores 
Of Omalashka, where the new world bends 
To meet her ancient partner, and reclose 
The chasm made when the disjointed earth 
Sank formless in a watery grave, till God 
Call'd her anew to being, but deforni'd 
With precipices huge and gulfs profound, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 129 

Marks of her guilt and ruin. Where through wastes 
Unbounded the Tartarean plunderer roves, 
Or Indian hunter, savage as his game. 
They rove in numerous families combined ; 
Tho' terrible to others, firmly knit 
In kindred union to their clans they bear 
The elk, or buffalo, or spotted pard, 
Or the rich plunder of some caravan, 
Journeying to China's mart. In purer times, 
The fathers of mankind thus, mid a race 
Sprung from their loins, hVd blameless, king, and priest, 
And parent of the numerous progeny 
Whose tents were pitch'd around them. In the midst, 
Beneath a lofty oak, the altar rose, 
Hallow'd with daily sacrifice ; the sire 
There judg'd offences, or disclos'd the will 
Of God, reveal'd in vision, or deriv'd 
From sure tradition. Distant graz'd the herds, 
Or panted in the blaze of Asia's noon, 
Or ruminating, couch'd. At the near well 
G 5 



130 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

The handmaids rins'd their vests, or ground the meal, 

Or bak'd the leaven'd dough, or seeth'd the kid 

For meet repast; hard duties these, ere art 

Assisted labour. But, in converse high, 

Hound the old patriarch sat his elder bom, 

Discoursing on the birth of time, then young, 

x\nd every miracle of Providence 

By which the Highest nurtur'd feeble man — 

Fall'n iuexperienc'd to existence new, 

Beset with danger, but by grace sustain' d. 

Time was, Britannia, when thy fertile meads,. 
(And meads more fitted to sustain the wants 
Of simple life nor Nile nor Ganges laves 
In their long course), time was, those meads supplied 
The honest yeoman, and the athletic brood 
Sprung from his bed, with food and plain attire, 
Bound of their humble prayers. The mother then, 
A housewife sage, rose at the second cock, 
And rous'd her slumbering daughters to provide 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 131 

The needful wardrobe. Cheerful at their wheels 

They caroll'd, till the bleat of weaning lambs, 

Or low of kine with loaded udders^ call'd 

To other toils. Monotonous and slow 

Dashes the churn ; the loaded cheese-press groans ; 

Swift whirls, with lightning- speed, the noisy reel ; 

Some on the shaven grass-plot spread the web, 

To court the bleaching winds. Part bear aloft 

The tinkling brass to lure the swarming bees r 

Or from the swampy moor, or elder-fence,. 

Cull fruits and flowers indigenous, design'd 

For winter-stores. Nor fear'd they rougher toils, 

But gave their beauty to the nipping gales, 

Or blistering sun, what time the new-mown Jiay, 

Or wheat maturely brown, summon'd their aid, 

To share their brothers' tasks ; then lighter far 

Than when they rose at midnight to resist 

The ravage of the flood, when southern blasts 

Broke up the stubborn magazines of ice, 

And swell'd the mountain-torrents with a storm 



132 SEPARATION PROM CHILDREN. 

Of sleet and hail; yet through that storm they rush'd. 

And in the swelling inundation plung'd, 

To drive their shivering kine to pastures safe. 

Theirs also was the toil to seek their flocks 

In deep ravines, where, shelter'd from the wind, 

The harmless people couch'd, till o'er their heads 

The drifting snow pil'd gradual ; patient there 

They ruminated, till their guardian swains, 

Led by their dogs* sagacious bark, explor'd 

And freed the captives, bearing in their arms 

The feeblest to the sheep-cot, shelter'd warm, 

And with dry fodder stor'd. In spring those swain* 

Twirl'd the incessant flail, or hew'd the oak, 

Or through the stubborn glebe, with strenuous arm, 

Slow urg'd the glittering share. In rural arts 

Pre-eminently skill'd, the hardy youths 

Cherish'd no loftier aims. Twas their discourse, 

Who best could throw the level swath, who guide 

The sickle most adroitly, or dispose 

In regular arrangement, neat and firm, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 133 

The pyramidal rick, alike in form 

To Egypt's ancient wonders, slowly rais'd 

By groaning slaves to posthumous renown, 

And vain ambition. More important far 

These trophies of abundance, magazines 

Of agricultural wealth, still largely pil'd 

In Britain, tho' the manners of her swains, 

" Ah ! piteous work of mutability V 

Loos'd from the ties which to one home, one task, 

One interest, the laborious brethren bound, 

Preserve their old simplicity no more. 

Now comes the period when the younger sons 
Must quit their father's house, whether it rose 
In proud manorial grandeur, to o'erlook 
Valley, and wood, and hill, subjected all 
To its command ; or to the village spire 
Contiguous, its white railing, garden trim, 
And library well stor'd, bespoke th' abode 
* Spenser. 



13-1- SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN, 

Of contemplative taste — the man of God, 

Who feeds the flock committed to his charge 

Duly ; or elegant recluse, retir'd 

From toils of active life. Whether, fond boy, 

The home time calls thee to relinquish yields 

These higher joys, or yon strong mansion, built 

In former ages by the knight or lord 

For dowager or spinster, where still grow 

Tall obelisks of holly, box, and yew, 

Disclaiming innovation ; and within 

The massy beams, the windows cas'd with stone, 

The open chimney, and the spacious hall, 

Spite of the carpets and the painted chairs, 

Confess primeval manners, ek'd and flounc'd 

By modern luxury. If this abode, 

Seat of rude plenty and obstreperous mirth, 

First gave thee being, sacred is the name 

Of home, and dear its joys. Ah ! where is found 

Such shelter as the father's roof; where friend 

Kind, like the mother; where delights like those 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 135 

Tasted when life was young, when buoyant joy 
Leap'd forth, dispos'd with every living thing 
To gambol, till exhausted weariness 
Impos'd reluctant slumbers, sweet, profound, 
Ending at morn's first ray ? Then blithly rose 
The sprightly boy, to finish some design, 
Mischievous half, yet of invention keen, 
And energy prophetic. Oft amid 
The banishments by wise instruction's laws 
Enforc'd, the school-boy, listless to his task, 
Ponders the joys of home — the hazel copse, 
Where first he found the bullfinch, the clear stream. 
Where crimson- spotted trout and minnows play'd, 
The level lawn on which he chas'd his bowl, 
Or pitch'd his nine-pins ; every dear delight 
Of summer-evenings, when, high pois'd in air, 
The paper-kite, envy of village lads, 
Majestically soar'd. He counts the hours 
Which shall restore these blessings, when again 
The rosy holydays, on cherub wings * 
* See a Fairy Tale, by Mrs. Talbot, published with her Essays, 



136 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Arriving, shall conduct him to the scene 

Of all his joys. Rover shall lick his hand ; 

His favourite poney willingly sustain 

Its joyful lord ; soon the paternal gates 

Shall open, soon within a mother's arms 

His heart shall pant with rapture, while he hears 

His wish'd improvements prais'd. From his swoll'ii eye 

He wipes the tear, arouses all his powers, 

As to th' Homeric song or Virgil's page, 

Dropp'd from his hand, renew'd attention turns. 

Yet when harsh discipline, or sharp restraint, 
Goads the free spirit at that patriot age, 
When every wish is liberty, the soul 
Eager anticipates the golden hours 
Of self-command, and meditates vast scenes 
Of enterprise, and fair success, and fame, 
Till a new world, well modell'd, seems to rise 
In vision, like the fairy-palaces 
Magnificent, attendant on the call 
Of an enchanter's rod. Home then appears 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 137 

Armida's tower*, where captive Tancred lay, 

While fierce Argantes through the Christian carnp 

Destruction spread, and Godfrey vainly call'd 

His absent champion, who, by magic bonds, 

Was chain'd from high emprise. How tedious, then^ 

Appear its stinted services I How mean 

Its calm security ! At length the hour 

Arrives of manumission. On the stream 

Of life his bark shall rush, with pendants gay, 

An inexperienc'd, sanguine voyager, 

Hast'ning to isles of bliss, and mines of gold. 

Good speed attend thee; and may hope and joy 

Still man thy shrouds, while prudence steers thy helm* 

For after long debate, revolving oft 
The properest guardian, and the surest path 
To honour, or emolument, or fame, 
Or to those humbler views, sufficiency 
And peace, paternal love at length appoints 
* Tasso's Jerusalem, Book 7th. 



lob SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

(As far as finite mortal can appoint) 

The fortunes of the boy. Not rashly chos'n, 

Fix'd without wisdom, and capricious chang'd 

As levity directs, but gravely weigh'd, 

To talents, habits, character, and health 

Best suited ; nor o'erlook'd that higher view, 

Which in the frail inhabitant of earth 

Discerns the future citizen of heaven, 

And guards th' immortal franchise. Awful trust ! 

Which nature's, reason's, and religion's voice 

Bestow on parents, to allot each child 

Its future destination — rightly use 

The delegated confidence, for heaven 

Requires most strict account. Perverse designs 

Of cunning worldlings, cruel tyranny, 

Stubborn inflexibility of will, 

Deaf to intreaty ; prejudice, or spleen, 

Must not be pleaded at that awful bar. 

The hour of trial is arriv'd, long fear'd 
By the fond mother, who, in privacy, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 139 

Bath'd her pale cheek with tears, and humbly praVd 

Celestial benediction, while her hands, 

Busied in Martha's toils, selected aught 

Of use, or comfort, or delight, to sooth 

The wanderer's future wants. Want till that hour 

He never knew, which kindness could relieve, 

Or care anticipate; but stranger- hands 

Must now perform those offices, to love 

Most dear ; and stranger-hearts, with feelings cold, 

Fulfil the stinted service justice claims, 

Once paid by love with vast munificence, 

Outgoing obligation. Will he find 

A friendly breast, to which his treasur'd woes 

May be confided, where his aching head, 

Leaning, may find repose ? His fever' d lip 

Who now shall moisten with the cooling cup, 

Or heal with draughts medicinal ? The couch 

Of restless pain who shall compose, or (task 

More difficult) administer reproof 

To headlong indiscretion, temper'd sweet 



HO SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

With tenderness ineffable, till tears 

Awake the scorpions of remorse ? For love 

Pains more than anger, by its chastisements, 

A heart susceptible of generous shame, 

And grateful recollection. He who stood 

Firm and unyielding while the pedagogue 

Brandish'd his rod, who, with disdainful air, 

Eudur'd the menace of opprobrious rage, 

Has melted to behold his mother's eye 

Mildly expostulate ; has felt her sighs 

Than stripes more agonizing; and has fear'd 

Expulsion from that safe retreat, her arms, 

Worse than the furies academic lore 

Plants round her hallow'd grove, from theft profane 

To guard her laurels. Will the busy world 

Stop in the chase of avarice or fame 

To mark a stripling stranger, and explain 

The latent characters of soul which speak 

A mind not stubborn, but determin'd, brave 

To high courageous daring, yet dispos'd 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 141 

To grateful yearnings, pitiful and kind, 

Artless in manner, and averse to own 

Its own deserts ? Ah, no ! hid in the shell 

Of rough demeanour, careless, unconstrained, 

Th* untasted fruit of rich integrity 

Will shrivel unperceiv'd. Yet did she spare 

No culture to induce the golden growth 

Of courtesy and winning grace. Alas ! 

Was the soil barren, or did anxious love 

Look for the fruit before the blossom swell'd f 

So in her closet, meditating sad, 
The mother reasons, while a sombrous cloud, 
Gradual succeeding the effulgent glow 
Of hope, o'er the adventurer's youthful cheek 
In pallid silence steals. Again he pats 
His darling Rover, visits yet again 
Each favour'd haunt, bids a renew'd adieu 
To the old nurse, his confident, or hind, 
Who hid the lapses of his boyish hours, 



J 42 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

And shar'd his hoarded apples. Now he parts 
Among his playmates keepsakes, be they spoils 
Torn from the plundered wanderers of air, 
Marbles or tops, the wicket and the bat, 
Each token of adroitness, precious late, 
And with regret resign'd. His sadden'd heart 
Feels these divestments; and the world unknown, 
So beauteous once, looks blank, a naked void 
Of each delight, to habit or to love 
Most dear. But at the door the neighing steed 
Gives summons dire. He turns: Is this a time 
For weak irresolution ? " Yet to view 
A mother's tears, and bid farewel. O task 
Impossible ! Will not to-morrow's dawn 
Conduct her to my pillow, to inquire 
If I am well, or chide my sluggishness ? 
To-morrow's sun will rise, but from that voice 
And smile, than day more cheerful, I forlorn 
Shall rove in banishment, O most belov'd, 
Most honour'd ! Is she silent ? Does she fear 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN". 143 

Her sorrows will unman me that she checks 

Her faltering voice, nor washes with one tear 

The parting kiss, while on my head her hand 

Is press'd in benediction, and her eyes 

Rais'd in mute awe to heaven. Farewel !" Tis spoke, 

And forth he rushes. Now unsluic'd his griefs, 

Long painfully restrained, in torrents burst, 

Soon check'd by decent pride, as with a speed 

That speaks his diffidence, he eager posts 

Along the destin'd road, and fears to turn ; 

Till from the summit of the hill, whose bourne 

Shuts from his view that bower of bliss by him 

So lov'd, he pauses, takes a parting look 

Of the dear hamlet ; cottage, field, and grove 

Decyphering, and the lares, social powers, 

Who people every hearth, for every hearth 

Is hallow* d then, and innocence and joy 

Bound o'er those fields. He gazes till his eyes 

Ache with impassion'd vision. What ! no more 

Must he return ? " Yes," soothing hope replies, 



114 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

" Thou sbalt return, laden with wealth and fame 

And thy return shall be a festival 

Of gratulating bliss, a holyday 

Of social transport. But go, first pursue 

The path which duty points/' Sighing, he yields, 

And speeds his pilgrimage along the vale. 

So on the top of fountfui Pisgah stood 
Moses, the man of God, who faithful led 
The wandering tribes, permitted thence to view 
That rest so long desir'd, and now denied 
By special interdiction, for his sin 
At Meribah. The palms of Jericho 
He saw, and Jordan, like a silver line 
Parting the realm of Sihon from the lot 
Of Benjamin. O'er Sibma, rich in vines 
And flowers, he glanc'd, to where the utmost sea 
Wash'd Dan and Ephraim. On the south he saw 
Th' Asphaltic lake, dire monument of wrath 
Eternal, and the heights of Lebanon, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 145 

Whose cedars seem'd to touch the bending clouds, 
Skirted his northern view. Such wond'rous pow'r 
Of vision God afforded, to console 
Him he in love rebuk'd. Ere call'd to die, 
He saw thee, promised Canaan, fertile then 
Beyond all other lands ; and once again 
Did he behold thee, when on Tabor's top 
Glorious he stood, and communed with Him, 
Seen in the burning bush, of whom he spake, 
Prophetical Messiah, come to lead 
Lost Israel to the ever-during rest 
Of heav'nly Canaan. 

May that rest be thine, 
Young wanderer ! and thy earthly father's house, 
Thy mother's fondness, and the social joys 
Fraternal friendship yielded, be supplied 
(Thy mortal journey done) by the large courts 
Of thy eternal sire, whose love transcends 
A mother's ; there, in fellowship most pure, 

H 



146 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Mayst thou embrace thy brethren, the redeem'd, 
Gather'd from every people, clime, and age. 

Yet, though the path of active business, strewn 
Profuse with festering thorns, till scarce appears 
Pleasure's alluring rose, sternly commands 
Attention, like a station'd centinel 
To watch his hour, till happily dismiss'd 
To sleep long wish'd ; affection then shall wake, 
Restoring to his view his early joys — 
The casual luxuries economy 
Allow'd on festivals, the wise restraints 
Which made indulgence happiness, the bliss 
Of leisure slighted once. How exquisite 
Does leisure seem to tossing weariness, 
When the worn intellect and feverish frame 
Refuse the rest they crave. Then shall return 
Visions of early, unimpassion'd life, 
Ere vain desire, like the curs'd Danaides, 
From avarice or ambition's fountains drew 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. U7 

Waters of discontent in broken urns, 
Ere tasted, lost, Such is the lot of him 
Who to those turbid streams alone applies. 

Perchance, meanwhile to solitude resign q, 
The mother muses on her absent boy, 



Paints every danger, contumely, wrong, 
Or sorrow he may feel. Whether beneath 
Thy naval or thy martial banner plac'd 
Britannia, he with honest zeal contends 



For thy insulted rights, thy slander' d fame, 

And menac d empire in far distant climes, 

Scorch d by hot winds, by icy rigours chill d, 

Tossing on stormy seas, by famine pinch d, 

Groaning m sickness or captivity ; 

Whether he braves the tempest which o'erwhelms 

Empires and potentates, manners and laws ; 

Or shelter d m Astrea s last retreat, 

This guarded isle, he shares life's common ills/ 

The monitors and heritage of man \ 



148 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Still with anticipating cares, more swift 

Than wing'd misfortune, with alarming doubts 

As malice vigilant, and sympathies 

Than actual pain more piercing, more acute 

Than the cold chills of wo, maternal love 

Hovers round him whom hard necessity 

From her endear'd embrace reluctant tore. 

As in a summer's eve, when every gale 
Reposes, and tranquillity enrobes 
The western landscape, glowing in the beams 
Of the declining sun, and studded rich 
With mountains, woods, and farms, castles, and towers, 
And grazing herds ; the limpid lake reflects 
The scene more beautiful in fairy pride ; 
Mountains, and woods, and farms, and castles rise 
On the charm'd eye with softer hue, arrang'd 
In groups more graceful. Thou, too, memory, 
Canst, like the peaceful Naiad, gently draw 
Thy silver pencil o'er elaps'd delights, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 149 

Till all is magic loveliness. Array'd 
In every virtue, every fault disguis'd, 
Oft on the day-dreams of affection steals 
The god of her idolatry ; his form 
Is grace, his visage beauty, all his deeds 
Benignity, and all his accents truth ; 
Till, like distracted Constance*, she exclaims, 
" There ne'er was such a gracious creature born, 
But the rude world will spoil him, care will dig 
Deep furrows on his open brow, and grief 
Fade on his cheek the rose. Nor long will hope 
O'er his elastic frame a spirit breathe 
Etherial. When the toil-worn man obtains 
Short holyday from labour's prison-house, 
He'll come to these embraces, faded, cold, 
Gloomy, and tending earthward. Never, never 
Shall I behold my pretty Arthur more." 
Turn, self-tormentor, glorying in thy skill 
To barb and poison sorrow's dart ; O turn 
From criminal regrets, and idle fears, 
* King John, act 3d, scene 3d. 



150 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

To hopes and duties, acquiescence calm, 

And confidence serene. Still round thy child 

Eternal love keeps vigil. Is his path 

Dangerous ? The golden hairs which shade his brow 

Are number'd all. Does envy haunt his step ? 

" Envy is merit's shade*/' the useful check 

Of pride high-soaring. In the arduous field 

Of conflict he shall learn what love like thine 

Imparts not. Youth must change its silken robe 

For manhood's mail, or russet, and explore 

Regions beyond its home-bound scenery, 

Tho' now no Spartan lawgiver prescribes 

The year of prime, to bind on stripling arms 

The patriotic buckler, nor does youth 

Drop in the forum his pretextile vest, 

And o'er his limbs the manly toga fold. 

Henceforth the mother o'er her absent sons 
Must yield the curb of rule ; but active love 

" * Envy does merit as its shade pursue. : ' 

Pope's Essay on Mam. 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 151 

Turns monitor ; or, like the guardian saint 
In Romish legends, blasphemously deck'd 
With attributes divine, offers for them 
Morning and even the christian sacrifice 
Of prayer, breath'd from a lowly heart contrite, 
Yet confident of mercy : for she prays, 
Not for the warrior's plumage, nor the hoards 
Of unimparted wealth ; nor yet for fame, 
Idol of towering minds. If she requests 
Prosperity, 'tis meekly ; if she asks 
For health, 'tis with submission to His will, 
Who round the couch of sickness stations oft 
Celestial comforters, and through the wounds 
Of pain pours unguents, balmy to the soul, 
More deeply gash'd by sin. In prayer she seeks 
Riches unperishing, not earthly wreaths, 
Or fading honours, but immortal crowns ; 
Not freedom from distemper, but a life 
Beyond time's bound extended ; not to pass 
A day of fourscore years in worldly joys, 
Envied and flatter'd, cheated and traduc'd, 



152 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

(Such the brief history experience tells 

Of human happiness) but to survive 

The ruin of creation, to possess 

Permanent bliss in full security, 

To be belov'd of angels, and to hear 

From Him, whose presence is beatitude, 

This summons to eternal rest, " Well done, 

Servant belov'd, come share thy Master's joy.'* 

Nor blame the mother, who, if splendid parts 
And vast acquirements, various, rich, profound, 
Wisdom and truth, integrity and zeal, 
Meet for the common welfare, or the praise 
Of Him we serve — treasures by nature dealt 
With spare economy ; if gifts like these, 
United in her noble offspring, join 
Their rare effulgence, O ! condemn her not, 
Though she should supplicate with all the warmth 
A patriot or a doting parent feels, 
That fortune's sun may dissipate the mists 
Of poverty, and give his mighty mind 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 153 

Space for his pure ambition, holy, high , 
Just in its means, and generous in its aims. 

Nor wonder if, her ardent prayer fulfill'd, 
She sits in modest privacy retir'd, 
And gazes on his glory. Unalarm'd 
By envy's hell-born imps, who fix their fangs 
On his ascending greatness, she beholds 
His dangers and his fame, reads his great deeds 
In the glad eyes of myriads, hears the voice 
Of nations chaunt his eulogy, not set 
To measur'd strains, not the cold fulsome verse 
Venality inscribes to pow'r, but words 
Of sober truth and temper'd praises, breath 'd 
By hoary sages, independent bards, 
And warriors seam'd with honour's beauteous scar. 
When such unite their pceans to applaud 
The patriot's steady course ; when one bless' d isle, 
Sav'd from contention's uproar, stands a shrine 
For peace and freedom, charity and truth, 
H5 



154 SEPARATION FttOM CHILDREN 

Such attestations, while they truly note 

Transcendant virtue, form the guerdon high 

That crowns her toils. Poor are Golconda's mines, 

Poor are the yielded sceptres of the world, 

To her high aspirations, which demand 

A nation's welfare, and a nation's love ! 

And didst thou, Britain, 'mongst thy statesmen rank 
One uncorrupted thus, and fortunate 
In his first aim ; and midst thy matrons chaste, 
Devout and faithful as the prophetess 
Who in the temple sought her infant-lord ? 
Hadst thou a widow'd mother, sprung from blood 
Illustrious, and in spotless union bound 
To him who tore the naval wreath of Spain, 
And humbled martial tyranny and Gaul > 
Consort of Britain's Chatham, I revere 
Thy lot pre-eminent. Mother of him, 
Who, rising as his father's orb declined, 
Show'd in his dawn full splendour, and rush'd forth, 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 155 

Rejoicing in his mighty power, to save 

The people he espous'd. His genial rays 

Fell e'en on those who curs'd him at the hearths 

Guarded by him with safety's triple mound, 

Where, bless'd with liberty, they grateful mark'd 

The triumphs of oppression. Happiest thou 

Of mothers, when the storm-beat statesman sought 

Thy arms, best refuge from a clamorous world ! 

Then thy kind smile refresh'd his weary soul, 

And brac'd him to new labours. In thy groves, 

Unvex'd by spleen, he ponder' d future schemes 

Of England's glory, commerce, wealth, and fame, 

Soothing thy pains with visions of renown, 

Thy much-lov'd country's meed. Still to thy age 

He gave the stinted leisure he denied 

To folly's haunts, or pleasure's guilty bow'rs* 

His greatness and his love, with blended beams> 

lllum'd thy locks time-honour 'd, till beside 

His sire in dust they rested. Britain, then, 

Claim'd undivided the exalted heart, 



156 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Long with a mother shar'd. E'en in tby death 
Bless'd was thy lot, call'd heav'nward while his arm 
Had strength to prop thy dying head, his voice 
Pow'r to console thee, and his pious hands 
Firmness to close thine eyes ; ere yet his frame, 
Worn by incessant toil, refusd the task 
Sternly imposed by his unconquer'd soul, 
Where all the Roman, all the christian* shone. 

Rare was thy lot, O mother of the friend 
Britain must long deplore ! Go, shew thy son 
To the bright host of angels, habitants 
Of purer worlds, where virtue, tried no more, 
Triumphs for ever. In this toilsome world 
Few through the labyrinth of public life 
With " unblenched honour" walk. Ambition delves 
A mine for av'rice, while her painted lures 

* The last moments of Mr. Pitt, as described by the Bishop 
of Lincoln, demonstrate that he clearly understood, and truly 
revered, the principles of our holy religion. 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 157 

Lead vanity to danger's precipice, 

To foes a taunting proverb of reproach, 

A grief to kindred, and to friends a shame. 

And thou, whose prayers ungranted vainly ask 
Male issue to support an ancient house, 
Lament not though thy cheeks have never glow'd, 
Flush'd by a son's renown. Reflect thy heart 
Hath never yearn'd in anguish for his wrongs, 
Nor felt the wound incurable, disgrace 
Gives the maternal bosom, while it goads 
With scorpion lashes the detected knave, 
The venal statesman, or the coward-chief. 

Nor envy thou her lot, whose fruitful womb 
Nurtured an infant-hero. Seest thou not 
How pale her cheeks ? Long watchings made them pale ; 
While many a night sad fancy chain'd her soul 
To danger's coursers, hurrying her along 
Through battles, sieges, storms, with him she lov'd. 



158 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Lift the green laurels which a grateful realm 
Bind round her brows, and thou wilt see they hide 
Deep furrows, grav'd by care. Observe her kneel 
Beneath the waving banner, glorious pledge 
Of victory, and thou mayst see her sighs 
Lift its proud folds, to tell thee she forebodes 
New perils to her darling ; for her arms 
Must ne'er detain him whom his country's voice 
Again invites to dangers and to fame. 

O bless that heaven, which bade thy duties walk 
In paths more tranquil, while beneath thine eyes 
The gentle forms of female innocence 
Gradual mature ; nor intermit thy cares ! 
There may thy labours reap more certain fruit, 
Proportion'd to thy culture and thy skill. 
Chief be those labours trebled at the hour 
When sportive Cupid makes the female heart 
The mark of cruel archery. Around 
Gay, unfledg'd beauty, flitting from her nest. 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN'. 159 

Gambols the coxcomb-daw ; and o'er her head 
The kite, foul ravisher, in guileful wheels 
Observant sails, and points her for his prey ; 
While the deluded victim plumes her pride 
With his mock reverence. Now comes the time 
When caution and experience, matrons sage, 
Shall be regarded as two gossip-crones, 
Met to malign Lothario, though his mien, 
His gay habiliments, and courteous speech, 
Bespeak his virtues, like his form, divine. 
Now comes the time when fancy, us'd to smile 
At love-tales, shall turn serious, and discern 
They are most pitiful ; when gay content, 
Wont to point scornful at the desperate maid 
Who angled on a beetling precipice 
For Clodio's callous heart, till her own peace 
Sunk irremediable in depths of wo, 
Shall deem such conquest feasible, and point 
Her small artillery-glances, shot from eyes 
With silken fringes shaded, ambuscades 



160 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Of smiles, and becks, and pretty frowardness, 
Which o'er the face of conscious beauty glide 
Like lucid clouds o'er Cynthia : all to win 
That tower, the heart of man, impregnable, 
Save when inverting fable Danae chang'd 
Gains in a shower of gold reluctant Jove. 

From beauty's open'd blossom to its prime 
Let fond maternal vigilance on guard 
Sit patient. These are hours of high import, 
Which, on the future, stamp the deep impress 
Of evil or of good indelible : — 
As we from evening learn the coming day, 
And in a night portending storms behold 
Sol on his western couch, o'er-canopied 
With vapours murky purple, sullen red, 
And dusky grey, in turbid grandeur roll'd, 
Changing at every glance, while far above, 
Like snowy mountains, rise the clouds convolved, 
With rain or tempest charg'd. Unlike the scene 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. \6l 

When glorious Phoebus with resplendent hues 
Blazons his setting car; o'er half the heavens, 
Reflected from the east, a splendour glows 
Vivid, yet tranquil, of supernal worlds 
It seems an antepast, enkindling hope 
Of fruitful seasons, and of rural joy. 
Thus ominous, round Hymen's altar float 
Portents, by love maternal well discern' d, 
Who, like Cassandra, tells the sure event, 
In vain predicted, and too late deplor'd ; 
When he who fawn'd turns tyrant, and reveals 
His latent self, false, treacherous, severe, 
Jealous of rule, yet most unmeet for power, 
Vices late gloss'd by courtesy o'erstrain'd, 
Or mock hilarity, the gala-garb 
Of sad remorse, long us'd in moody rage 
To tear its russet gabardine at home. 

Happy the maid who holds in silken bands 
A generous heart, by fortune unallur'd, 



102 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

By female arts unvanquish'd ! Happy, too, 
The mother who beholds, in kindred souls, 
Congenial virtues waken mutual love! 
Her anxious labours, wishes, pray'rs, and hopes, 
Tended to this ; for this she gave her hours 
Industrious, building firm the structure fair 
Of grace, and beauty, and immortal truth. 
Come, then, enjoy thy labour ; come, and crown 
With Hymen's wreaths thy child! Content, resign 
Pre-eminence in that soft heart where late 
Thou wast supremely lov'd. Forbear to mourn, 
Tho' the dear partner of thy summer-walks 
And winter-musings, giv'n to other cares, 
Gilds v>ith brief visits the secluded bow'r, 
Where thou sitt'st lonely, pra\ing for her weal, 
Or fashioning some household web, design'd 
To ease her duties. Hospitable zeal 
Shall be the harbinger of her approach, 
And love and transport the young cherubs hail 
Whom she shall lead to print thy faded cheek 



SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. \6S 

With rosy kisses. Jealousy, avaunt ! 

Shame not a mother's noble tenderness, 

Tho' the soft glances of connubial love, 

From thy pale brow reverting with a sigh, 

Seek solace in the fond protecting glance 

Of him thy daughter's wedded lord, whose arm 

Shall stay her fainting steps, when she attends 

Thy honour'd relics to the house of death, 

And hears thy requiem chaunt£d. What shall call 

Her fluttering spirits from the grave, to which, 

As to a sealed casket, she entrusts 

Thy sacred form, save a lov'd husband's voice, 

Or waitings of her infant- babes, who shriek 

Because their mother mourns ? O ! rather lift 

Thy voice, and praise the wisdom which assigns 

To perishable man successive loves, 

To sooth him when the guardians of his youth 

Assume their robes immortal. Thus he grows, 

Not like deciduous trees in northern climes, 

Through whose bare branches howls the winter-storm. 



l6h SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

But like the golden orange in the groves 

Of Lusitania, or th' Idumean palm, 

The opening blossoms and the ripen'd fruit 

Loading at once his bending boughs. O man, 

Favour'd of Providence, and truly blest, 

If in these riches of domestic love 

Thine eye discerns the mercy which supplies 

What thy frail state and varying wants require ! 

And blessed, too, the mother who has taught 
In early life her children to obtain 
Those fruits of paradise, which ev'n on earth 
Yield nutriment divine — religious hope, 
And holy peace, and pious gratitude. 
For this, while with the ashes of her sires 
Her withering form dissolves, ages unborn 
Shall nurse th* implanted virtues of Iter stock, 
And with her features, fortune, name, possess 
Her angel-dower of moral excellence, 
And Christian sanctity; gifts which the worm, 



SEPARATION FROi\f CHILDREN. l6S 

Destroyer foul, consumes not, nor the rust 
Of time devours. Beside the marble bust 
Which marks where venerable goodness waits 
TV archangel's call, tradition loves to sit 
And chronicle her deeds ; while round her tomb 
Stand her descendants, taught from infancy 
To lisp her honoured name, fondly to gaze 
On the priz'd semblance of her gracious form, 
The heir-loom of their honours, and to prize 
Relics of tasle, or industry, or art, 
Fruits of well-hoarded hours. For, while her mind 
Her higher cares contemplated, her hands 
Pursu d Arachne's toils. Those higher claims 
Speak in the record of her blameless life, 
Trac'd by her pen in modest characters, 
Inscribed to those she lov'd *. Holy and pure 
Is thy remembrance, virtue, though renown 
Plant laurels on the warrior's grave, and wreaths 
With bay the slumbering bard — the mother's urn 
* Alluding to the letters of Lady Rachel Russel. 



166 SEPARATION FROM CHILDREN. 

Shall claim more dear memorials ; gratitude 

Shall there abide ; affection, reverence there 

Shall oft revolve the precepts which now speak 

With emphasis divine. The pious tear 

(For tears must fall) like heavenly dew shall nurse 

A growth immortal. For thy mandate, death, 

Which o'er the separating waters calls 

The Christian mother, hallows while it ends 

Her blessed toils, seen in the fair renown 

Of those she fed with wisdom. Sooth'd and charm'd 

By visions grateful to maternal pride, 

She who, inspir'd by poignant feeling, chaunts 

A lay to mothers welcome, drops her lyre 

To muse upon a plain sepulchral stone 

O'er her own ashes laid, and the dear forms, 

Who, bending, wash it with their filial tears. 



IIHO MOm ^OITAHAMS 









MATERNAL SORROWS. 



ARGUMENT. 

Address to Spring. That season renews the remembrance of 
early friends. Poetical disappointments. Invocation to 
Fancy, requiring her to describe maternal sorrows. Death 
of an amiable daughter in childbirth. Long protracted 
sufferings of one who languishes under a hopeless disease. 
Death of a widow's son by fever; of two brothers of dif- 
ferent characters and fortunes by consumption. Sorrow 
may take a more painful shape than death. Anguish of 
the mother of a courtezan. Similar distress of one reduced 
to poverty by a spendthrift-son. Portrait of an aged 
mother who educates her grandchildren, orphans of an 
officer. Story of a mother who attended an amiable 
daughter through the miseries incident to an imprudent 
and clandestine engagement, which ended in insanity. 
Grief of a lady for an only son who fell in battle. Dread- 
ful anxiety of those who know not the fate of their Children, 
instanced in the parents of the crew of the Grosvenor, of 
those who fell into the hands of Hyder Ally, and those 
who were massacred at Ceylon. Address to Britain to at- 
tend to the religious improvement of her foreign posses- 
sions. Beneficial effects of such a measure. A mother's 
terrors would thus be lessened for the safety of her sons 
who embark on distant expeditions. Secure state of do- 
mestic society, when Christianity is universal. Old age 
and death of the mother of a virtuous family : probably 
may be changed into a guardian-angel. Conclusion. 



BOOK V. 

MATERNAL SORROWS. 

As, by short rest refresh'd, the woodland hind 
Strikes the firm oak with repercussive blows 
More vigorous, thus the weary Muse suspends, 
And thus renews her toils. Long time she watch'd 
Spring's lingering chariot, who, with timid hand, 
Slow braided her faint garlands, while her realm, 
Wasted by winter, moura'd : the lengthen'd hours 
Refus'd to chase the tyrant, who still cail'd 
His sleety hail, his eastern blights, his storms 
Of snow, overwhelming in one dazzling waste 
Creation, burying deep fodder and flock, 
Calamitous to thriftless husbandry, 
To gay imagination's fairy host 
Destructive ; for nor Pisces nor the Ram 
Allow'd one genial glow, and Taurus pac'd 
O'er half his circuit, ere his starry horns 
I 



170 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Pierc'd the cold vapours. Oft I ask'd the sud, 
Art thou the same bright substance now thou hang'st 
On Hyems* car a glittering isicle, 
As when exhausted mortals, mid the reign 
Of burning Sirius, pant beneath thy beams ? 
At length those beams burst forth, with carol loud 
Of birds, with low of grateful flocks, with flowers 
Impatient rising from their frost-bound beds. 
Nature salutes the day-star, and invokes 
Exulting man to give her raptures tongue. 
Eager he rushes to his rural toils, 
Impracticable late ; the glittering share 
O'er the brown fallow glides in nieasur'd rows ; 
The vegetable stores for beast and man 
Strike their firm roots in the nutritious earth, 
Aud court the balmy gales which round thy throne, 
O Spring ! dance jocund. Dear is thy return ; 
Welcome, sweet May ! thy wreaths * ; for now thou 
As in thy ancient pomp, the fruitful bride [com'st, 
* Written during the remarkable May of 1808. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 171 

Of happy Greece, or Sicily renown'd, 

When nymphs and shepherds to the Dorian pipe 

Danc'd, and with flowers adorn'd thy mimic queen. 

O long desir'd and lovely ! at thy call 

Nature spontaneous quickens into leaf, 

Herbage, and floral bloom. Each day, each hour, 

She doffs her sombrous hue. Now the swoli'n bud 

But scarcely tints the hawthorn hedge ; but soon 

In ample vegetation she invests 

The sycamore umbrageous, and the oak, 

Monarch of woods, who waits till he beholds 

His naked subjects clad, ere he assumes 

His proud regalia. Hail, benignant May ! 

For now thou com'st not wayward, but with smiles 

Of sunny warmth, and gently dropping tears. 

And balmy sighs, seeking to heal the wounds 

Thy elder sisters gave the mourning earth. 

Let universal love now hymn the reign 

Of universal beauty, hill and lawn 

Confess her power, the chaunt of nightingales, 



172 MATERNAL SORROWS'. 

And the lark's carol echo it aloud ! 
Nor storms nor dangers now invade the reign 
Of evening, under whose grey awning rove 
The lover and the poet, each entranced 
In ecstasies, the scorn of grosser souls. 
Light journeys northward ; now her radiant car 
Scarce dips in th' arctic wave, the bright reflex 
Pierces the curtain'd tent where darkness lies, 
And shooting upward to the pole-star, warms 
Gelid Arcturus, and the twinkling state 
Of thron'd Cassiope. Far in the south 
The envious moon mourns her diminish'd reign, 
Complaining Phoebus has usurp'd the night ; 
Nor waits he now till morning's dewy hand 
Sprinkles with pearls his ringlets, ere he hastes 
To pale his sister's splendours. Like the moon, 
Pensive and sad, I sicken at the blaze 
Of summer's pomp etherial ; for she notes 
Another year stolen ftom the brief extent 
Of my frail being, on whose lapsd events 



MATERNAL SORROWS. *?3 

I gaze, as from a hill some traveller 

Looks on the cities, mountains, plains, or fens, 

Kis pilgrim-feet have trod to pass no more. 

Thus over half a century I muse 

Pensive, of many, a toilsome hour demand 

Its tribute, while with bitter tears I trace 

The evanescent forms of faded joys, 

Sitting like phantoms o'er the numerous graves 

Of former friendships, of attachments dear, 

Treasures of early youth, ere interest chill'd 

Th' impassion'd heart, and bade it speculate 

Before it lov'd. Autumnal life affords 

No fruits like these ; but many a death-storm* rose, 

And swept the blossoms, whose luxuriance seem'd 

To promise mellow hangings to my age, 

And vigour to my Muse. For she could sing 

Deftly, when partial Lycid lingering hung 

O'er her quaint harp, attun'd the chord, and smil'd, 

* " The death- storm rose, and swept her to the tomb. 1 ' — 

William Spenctr's Year of Sorrow. 



1/4 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Inspiring hope, or, with congenial strains, 

Awoke to ecstasy the song he lov'd. 

Ah ! when she struck that harp, with cypress crown'd, 

O'er Lycid's grave *, or learn'd the minstrel's song, 

By him so valued, in the silent halls 

Of Arundel, what audience met she ? None. 

Fashion beheld the hearse of matchless worth 

Glide by unnotic'd, and Alicia mourn'd 

Her father's crimes to cold, unpitying hearts. 

Nor Sparta's lofty matron, when she bound 

The cuirass on her panting boy, receiv'd 

The tears of British mothers, call'd to yield 

Their darlings to like toils. No radiant dreams 

Of fame's bright palaces, immortal wreaths, 

Or tuneful praise, now sooth me. Round my brow 

The night-shade creeping sheds th' effluvia dire 

Of envy or of spleen, to thee, sweet Muse, 

Deadly ; and o'er the lay unheard, unlov'd, 

* The poems here alluded to are in the 3d volume of this 
author's poems and plays. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 175 

The numbing poppy of oblivion steals, 
Fatal alike to songstress and to song. 

O bard of plaintive Mulla, to whose pipe 
The graces danc'd *, crowning with flowers the maid 
Much honour'd with thy love, didst thou complain— 
Thou who, high seated in the gorgeous shrine 
Of phantasy, delightest every age — 
Didst thou complain that virtue and the Muse 
Should be despis'd by those themselves had rais'd 
To eminence ; who, like some aged tree, 
Spreading their wide circumference, suffer none 
To thrive beneath their boughs |! " O gentle bard ! 
Not happier now the Muse's doom ; the oak 
Not only smothers saplings, but denies 
The gadding woodbine round his trunk to throw 
Her tendrils weak, and ask support from storms. 

* Spenser's Fairy Sueen, Book 6th, Canto 10th. 

f The lines quoted are in Spenser's Poem on the Ruins of 
Time, and allude to the neglect and injurious treatment which 



176 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Kings of the Delphian grove, our lofty bards 
Disdainful note the humbler worshippers 
Of Phoebus, tho' they decorate his shrine 
With garlands of vale-lilies, cull'd beside 
Th' Aonian fount, and wet with sacred dew. 

Come, then, imagination, and involve 
In thy dark stole my theme ! Marshal in pomp 
The congregated sorrows that arise 
To blast a mother's labours; envy, fraud, 
The base seducer, the perfidious friend, 
The wily enemy, th' oppressor stern, 

he received from Lord Burleigh, after the death of Sir Philip 
Sidney. Jt seems difficult to speak of an enemy in more candid 
terms, or to utter a more harmless imprecation. 

" O grief of gii^fs ! O gall of all good hearts ! 
To see that virtue should despised be 

By those who ficst were rais'd by virtue's parts, 
And now bioad >pr adiog like an aged tree, 
Let none shoot up that near them planted be. 

O let not those of whom the Muse is scoru'd, 

Alive or dead, be by the Mu=e adoraVL" 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 177 

Forget not, for along the path of life 

Like ravening wolves they prowl. Bring, too, the train 

Of poverty; bring unsuccessful toil, 

Neglected virtue, and defeated hope. 

Nor yet omit the canker'd produce sown 

By him, man's enemy, in hearts prepar'd 

For the good seed of grace. O grief most sharp 

To her indeed a mother ! Chiefly call 

The army of disease, and death its king, 

Riding triumphant o'er the fallen race 

Of Adam, vanquish'd by his scythe-arm' d car. 

Come, strew with flowers the bridal-path, and wake 
The village-bells, to tell with merry peals 
Maria's nuptials*, lovely, chaste, and young; 
Nobly descended, royally allied, 
A widow'd mother's comforter and friend, 
Of Waldegrave's stem fair scion to ingraft 

* Lady Maria Micklethwaite, only daughter of the Countess 
of Waldegrave. 

I 5 



17S MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Its blood and virtues on some honour'd house, 

Worthy such high affiance. At the shrine 

Of sweetness, goodness, truth, love bow'd, nor long 

Was Hymen absent ; but the cypress bud* 

Mix'd in his roseate wreaths. One year revolves : 

The village bells now toll the funeral-knell ; 

The groves of Beeston, that with pride receiv'd 

Their angel-habitant so late, now hang 

Their solemn umbrage o'er the cavalcade 

Of death, slow pacing where Maria erst 

Shone like a vernal morn. Ah ! what remains 

Of hopes so brilliant, of deserts so high, 

To sooth the widow 1 d bridegroom, or console 

A matron vers'd in wo ? Yon infant-boy — 

Whose birth records his mother's death, the heir 

Of these domains, beneath whose shade he sports — 

Inquires why he is pitied, and what means 

Maternal love, a tie to him unknown. 

* cc And in his garland, as he stood, 
You might discern a cypress bud." 

Milton's Elegy on the Marchioness of Winchester. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 179 

So when the fall'n Emathian race through Rome 
Walk'd in captivity, a dolorous band, 
Young Perseus, laughing in his nurse's arms, 
Seem'd to enjoy the triumph. Ruthless hearts, 
Who mock'd a king in chains, yearn'd to behold 
The sportive babe, unconscious of his wrongs, 
Enjoy the pageantry which told his doom, 
A slave, an orphan, not Achaia's lord. 

Swift flew the fatal shaft, whose dire arrest 
Clos'd young Maria's brief and blameless joys. 
But oft man's fell destroyer o'er his prey 
Reluctant seems to stand, as if he felt 
For his submitting victim, orallow'd 
A mother's feeble anguish to restrain 
His mace descending on a prostrate slave. 
Long hours of sad suspense has she endur'd 
Who in her patient daughter sees the course 
Of some severe distemper undenVd, 
That o'er life's morning waves its ebon wing> 



180 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

And strews the couch of innocence with thorns 
Of torture and despair Fale as a form 
Of marble, as a martyr meek, devout 
As the rapt seraph, to whose converse high 
Her holy hopes aspire, year after year 
The sufferer lies, sees but the shaded sun 
Through her veil'd window glimmer, to denote 
The day from night. Of life she nothing knows, 
Save that to live is pain ; of the gay world, 
Man's busy theatre, no gorgeous scene, 
Except what some fair sister softly paints 
At hours of partial ease, in hopes to wake 
A sickly smile. Of nature's beauteous face 
She steals a glimpse in one short annual round, 
To visit every neighbouring shrub, whose form 
Memory depictur'd to her sleepless eyes. 
She marks how they have flourish'd, while to her 
The genial seasons and the rapid hours 
Brought sure returns of pain, condemn'd to wear 
All forms but that which mercifully ends 



MATERNAL SORROWS. JS1 

The toil of sufferance. Yet content to live, 
Tho' looking oft at death, resign'd and calm, 
She languishes in patient cheerfulness, 
Without one murmur ; for beside her lies 
A sovereign cordial, to whose healing balm 
She oft applies intent, and, mid her throes, 
Seeks in the book of God assurance firm 
Of regions, at whose joyful bourn disease 
And lassitude their rausom'd victims yield. 

With love untir'd, with hopes defeated oft, 
Yet still renew'd, the tender mother bends 
O'er the dear girl, oft willing to resign 
Her innocent to God ; as oft, when ease 
Relaxes the strain'd muscles, vainly deems 
Misery hath spent her shafts, repose will heal 
What fierce distemper tore ; th' untasted joys 
Of health will light upon the wondering raaid, 
Most grateful for that treasure libertines 
Throw from their spendthrift hands ; that gem, unpriz ? d ; 



182 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Which sparkles in the ruddy beggar's eye, 
Who, thankless for the blessing, little wrecks 
What for Potosi's mine were cheaply sold. 

Nor, tho' from fragile womanhood more oft 
The passive virtues claim their tribute hard, 
Of meek endurance, is athletic man 
Exempt from sickness. Oft his sinewy frame 
In prime of vigour feels the burning shaft 
Of pestilence ; delirious falls, and dies 
Ere med'cine, like Plantagenet's chaste bride, 
With healing lip can cool the poison'd wound. 
So fell a youth of kindred blood, who liv'd 
A mother's dearest hope, and dying wrung 
Her heart with sharpest pangs. Like her of Nain, 
She was a widow, friendless, feeble, old ; 
Like her, the bier where all her treasure lay 
She foliow'd ; neighbours, kinsfolk also wept 
To see her sorrows ; but no hand divine 
With touch miraculous the funeral stay'd, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 183 

Restor'd the festering sleeper, gave him power 

To burst his cearments, to exchange the grave's 

Deep solitude for his fond mother's arms, 

And with renew'd existence bless that life 

His death would close. Yet, William, thou shalt rise 

When death's last dart is hurl'd ! A voice divine 

Spake to thy mother too, in whispers sweet, 

" Weep not, be comforted. All who believe 

In me shall, at my summons, quit their graves ; 

I am the resurrection and the life." 

O promise dear to man, whether he sinks 
Subdued by age, like ripen'd corn, or falls 
By sudden stroke, or gradually o'erthrown 
By hectic, deadly as the fatal juice 
Of pois'nous mineral or herb, the pest 
Of Britain, thus in early prime deprived 
Of many a gallant son and daughter fair. 
So fell two brothers, from a mother sprung 
Whose earthly course soon clos'd, consign'd to heav'n 



1S4 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

The infant-pledges of connubial love, 

With many a blessing, and with many a pray'r. 

Oce, like the plant from which it sprung, refill 'd, 

Gentle, and elegant, preferr'd the path 

Of peaceful life, nor felt ambition's fires, 

Save when the Muses to his raptur'd view 

UnveiPd the glorious world of phantasy, 

Peopled with radiant forms ; or nature deck'd 

In vernal or autumnal mantle, ask'd 

His imitative pencil to describe 

Her glowing beauties and majestic port. 

He sigh'd not for the plumage of renown, 

The golden chains of avarice, or the mask 

Of meretricious joy. Holy and high 

His aims aspir'd ; the converse of the wise, 

The friendship of the virtuous. In their haunts 

Swift flew his social hours ; there gently blaz'd 

The modest radiance of ingenious taste, 

Wit's playful coruscations, and the rays 

Of sentiment and feeling, prone to gild 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 185 

Beauties the world discerns not. Omens these 
Of honour, and integrity, and sense, 
And manly sweetness, when maturing time 
Ripens these fruits of heaven. Ah! false presage ! 
Peruse yon path- worn stone ; it tells a tale 
Simple and sad : the mother's grave unclos'd 
Its portal to receive her elder born 
In manhood's early prime, and wak'd anew 
In the fond father and the husband's breast 
The pangs of separation. Hast thou seen 
The fruit exotic, parch'd by noxious blasts, 
Keen frosts, or fervid suns, shed its sweet flowers, 
And aromatic leaves, decline and die, 
Mocking the florist's care ? So droop'd, so died 
Ingenuous Thyrsis; his flee form, cfispos'd 
By slender elegance, wither'd and shrunk 
Like the dried sapling. In his glist'ning eyes, 
Shaded with long dark fringes, shone a beam, 
Caught from the glories of that purer world 
To which he hasten'd. His expressive face, 



ISO MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Where all tbe generous passions smil'd or frown d, 
Flush'd with an hectic glow, or icy pale, 
Spoke surer than the death-watch, " Flesh is grass, 
And human beauty but a short-liv'd flower." 

Fair flower! thy native fields which nurs'd thy bloom 
Received thy ashes; there the fair renown 
Of thy untainted manners still remains 
Amid thy playmates, family, and friends. 
Thy gentle spirit left a world untried, 
Pure from defilement, and to guile unknown. 

But not his native province, nor the meads 
Of peaceful Albion, rich in bliss, detain 
The younger brother. He, with vast delight, 
Reads of the nations where Pactolus flows 
O'er beds of golden sands, of mountain-streams 
That tear the diamond from its bed, of shores 
Spangled with pearls, the gales of Araby 
Breathing odorous balms, of citron groves, 



MATERNAL SOBKOWS. . 187 

Pomegranate mounds, and where th* anana shoots 
In deep ravines, loading the perfum'd air 
With satiating sweet. He hears of realms 
O'er which the genial sun rides through a sky 
Of azure unobscur'd ; where by the spring, 
For ever dress'd, nature regales each sense 
With full delight ; where life is ecstasy, 
Devoid of care : nor can the scowling mien 
Of giant-danger, lurking in the storm, 
The hungry lion, the insidious snake, 
The bloody cannibal, or tyrant foe, 
Pall the impetuous wish which bids him prove 
These fair Hesperian tales. Nor other plans 
Delight him now ; for on his youthful cheek 
Flames expectation, while propitious gales 
Waft the deep-freighted ship in which he goes 
To vast Cathay, a world distinct and strange; 
Nor less by produce, manners, laws, and forms, 
Than seas immense, divided from our own, 



188 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



Now, after twice ten moons have wan'd, behold 
With gay carousals and loud shouts, the crew 
Salute their native country. On the shore 
lulus leaps, and to his shipmates waves 
His lifted bonnet; then, with jocund step, 
Explores his home, a pastoral hamlet, girt 
With hills of richest verdure, there to tell 
Of dangers, wonders, and achievements strange. 
Amid the circle of his early friends 
He sits sole orator ; the less'ning lamp 
W T astes unperceiv'd, and hours umiotic'd glide. 
Yet neither rich Brazil, the cape of storms 
First by De Gama pass'd, nor India's seas, 
Scarce curl'd by spicy gales, nor arid winds, 
That scath Sumatra's burning valleys, long 
Detain his narrative. He hastes to tell 
Of the tierce typhon, whirling in its rage 
Th' unshrouded ship, while through the naked poles 
Destruction howling snaps her stately mast, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 180 

And crushes her strong sides. The guiding helm 
No more directs her course; two nights and da^s 
She drives before the storm ; th' exhausted crew, 
High perch'd on barren Hainau's craggy rocks, 
B< hold death menacing, and almost wish 
To rest their weary limbs in the repose 
Of his still empire ; for incessant toil 
Withers ev'n British nerves, and the big tear 
Fell o'er thy check, lulus, as thy tongue 
Describ'd those woes. Far different was thy look, 
Far different felt thy audience, when the tale 
Of Gallia's boastful pirate, sly Linois, 
Mighty in narrative, berame thy theme ; 
When huge Marengo and her consort- hulks, 
Laden with plunder, near Macao's isle, 
Patient in rapine, lusk'd. Full many a sun 
Saw the raw shipmates exercis'd in arms, 
And many a moon beheld the chieftain wrapp'd 
In waking dreams of fortune and renown 
Purloin'd from Britain, when her peaceful ships, 



130 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Bearing the bartered treasures of Cathay 

In their deep holds, steer homewards, unprepared 

For other conflict, save of seas and storms. 

Behold, at length, the floating caravan 
Girds like a line th' horizon's edge ; and now, 
Approaching nearer, shows a wood of masts, 
Dark'ning the ocean. Forth the vultures spring 
To pounce upon their prey, but soon recoil ; 
No mark of blandishment, surprise, or fear, 
Th' advancing fleet betrays. Arrang'd for fight, 
England's proud ensign at each mizen flies ; 
The shrouds are mann'd with marksmen, and bold heart? 
Give to the feebler implements of war 
Force uncontroul'd. " They fled !" lulus cried ; 
es The pride of France, her naval hero, he 
Who fiird her vaunting chronicles with lies, 
Fled from the trader, cumber' d with his stores, 
And new to combat. How we mock'd the knaves, 
Cheer'd them in scorn, defied them to return, 
And menac'd them with plunder, chains, and death!' 



MATERNAL SORROWS. ipi 

Thus, with pleased retrospect, the gallant boy 
Recounts his darings, and anticipates [ 
New enterprise. He pants for trials hard, 
To win bright fortune mid the conflict dire 
Of warring elements, nor heeds the threat 
Of mining sickness lurking in his veins; 
Cold counsels he disclaims, nor droops his heart, 
Till, sailiug 'neath the equinox, the rays 
Of burning Phcebus drink his wasted strength. 
Loth he resigns his customed watch, and pants 
On his lone hammock for refreshing gales 
To renovate his frame. Those gales shall rise, 
Temper' d with India's balms ; her fruits shall cool 
Thy fever' d lip, dear wanderer, pow'rless all 
To stay the ravage of disease. Behold 
The thrifty crew, intent on interest, land 
The sick incumbrance on the shelvy isle 
Of far Penang ; there lies he, lost to all 
He knew or lov'd. No tender parent wipes 
The death-dew from his brow ; no youthful friend 



19- MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Cheats with sweet converse the sad hours, that roll 

Unvaried ; save, w hen at the custom'd bell 

The dark Malay glides through the mournful wards, 

And, cold himself to human feeling, deals 

To every son of misery his dole, 

And hears his plaints in silent apathy. 

Ah, then, lulus ! on thy wakeful eyes 

How T did the visions of thy former days 

In sad succession steal; a father's love, 

A father's precepts, and a father's woes, 

Thriird thy brave heart with pangs not less intense 

Than thy bright dreams of honourable wealth, 

And eminence, and fame, closing so soon 

Their fabling promise in a tale untold, 

A life oblivious, and a death unmourn'd ! 

Ofi turn'd thine eyes to the bare beach to catch 

The passing sails of Albion ; oft thy thoughts 

Cours'd with the much-lov'd voyagers through isles 

Pregnant with life-restoring drugs, high capes 

Fann'd by soft tepid gales, or colonies 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 193 

Of generous, social Britons. Still despair 
Swept the fair phantoms thence, and howling cried, 
M Thou never shalt those happy seats behold, 
The voice of love shall sound to thee no more." 

Yet on his dying hour one joyful gleam 
Shot radiant ; to the port a vessel steers, 
The ship whose well-compacted sides sustain* rf 
The typhon's rage, the crew which brav'd Linois, 
His former comrades, fellow-sufferers, friends. 
They rush into his arms, — the warm embrace 
Renews his vital functions. " I shall live," 
He cries, " to thank you. O convey me hence, 
Bear me to my own hammock, where I swung 
In China's seas, nor heard the falling mast, 
Lock'd in sweet sleep ; there I shall sleep again, 
Unvex'd by feverish dreams/' There didst thou sleep, 
Ingenuous boy, and many a veteran wept 
O'er thy still slumbers, destin'd to endure, 
Till time resigns his empire to his sire. 



10| MATERNAL SORROWS. 

He first thy chief, Lee Boo's own Wilson, fara'd 
For sense and manly feeling, he assign'd 
Christian and naval honours to thy corse ; 
It lies in consecrated ground, but far 
From kindred and from country. O'er thy grave 
Waves the tall cassia, and the radiant bird 
Of paradise there spreads its shaded plumes, 
Spangled with emerald, amethyst, and gold. 

Thus, with resistless tyranny, disease 
Through different stations, characters, and climes, 
Pursues his victims, and preventive care 
Displays her shield in vain. Death ambushes 
Amid the rosy garlands that entwine 
The joyous bowl; and where with cautious fear 
The sober student flies the gay carouse, 
And shuns the form of danger, he intrudes ; 
Shreds in the prophet's pottage deadly herbs*, 
And mocks th' anxiety of her who aims 
* 2 Kings, 4th chapter, 40th verse. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 195 

To fence her children from the rav'ning grave, 
By building care on care ; beneath their feet 
It yawns, and earth demands the breathing dust, 
Lent as a fragile tenement to man. 

Nor do the woes which rive a mother's heart 
With measur'd step still pace the path of death, 
Like sable mourners at a funeral — 
A form more horrible they oft assume, 
And ask his shaft in mercy. Seest thou her, 
Whose brightest mood is but a wintry moon, 
Seen in a night of mist ? She dares not w 7 eep, 
Nor call on sympathy, like those who yield 
Their dearest offspring to their Maker's will, 
By summons premature. 'Tis her first hope, 
That prying curiosity (to her 

Ev'n friendship takes that form) knows not the grief 
Which, like th' Egyptian asp, in her heart's core 
Has fix'd its fangs immutable. Her bane 
Is a lost girl, a fair one, and betray 'd 



196 MATERNAL SOSROWS, 

By beauty, weak credulity, and love ; 
One who ne'er listen'd, tho' her warning voice 
Pointed seduction as a wily snake 
Gliding along the thicket, where, like Eve, 
She lov'd alone to wander*, confident 
Of strength, like her; a tempter also came, 
Told a smooth tale, and triumphed. What remains 
To the deluded victim of his arts ? 
Tears and reproaches. Baby arms! he oft 
Hath mock'd their puny wounds. Is he not rich, 
Is he not noble ? Will the world assail 
His fame, or high-born beauty lothe his arms, 
Because a village-maid found his embrace 
Contamination, ruin, and despair ? 
No : he is censur'd with a gentle smile, 
CalFd gay, but elegant, and good at heart, 
And soon to be reclaimed. The different doom 
Of her is misery ; a relentless sire 
Denies her wrongs the shelter of a roof, 
* Paradise Lost, Book 9th. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. \§7 

Where yet dishonour never found abode. 
In vain the mother weeps, intreats, persuades, 
Harsh is the father, and the haughty girl 
Turns desp'rate from despair. To folly soon 
Guilt, bold, determined guilt succeeds; those charms, 
So oft the mother's wish, a prelude oft 
To bridal splendour and connubial wealth. 
Are barter'd now to purchase scant support 
For loth'd existence. In the haunts of shame 
Her beauty fades ; sportive Euphrosyne 
Adopts Megara's sullen brow, ill gloss' d 
With smiles like those the Tyrian minion us'd, 
Astarba*, when she drugg'd Pygmalion's bowl, 
And pledg'd the draught of death. With such she leads 
The victims she entrammels to partake 
Her destitution, misery extreme, 
Remorse, tho' deep, yet stubborn, which no touch 
Of true repentance turns to comfort. Death 
Is not to her a harbour from life's storm, . 

* Telemachus, Book 8th. . 



ios 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



A refuge for the shipwreek'd ; 'tis the rack 

On which obdurate wickedness must bide 

Eternal wrath. So the sad mother knows, 

And trembles to inquire if she has clos'd 

Her earthly shames. So knows she when she kneels* 

In prayer to heav'n, and for a sinner pleads, 

Who never prays ; for her she supplicates 

The axe may be suspended, tho' the tree 

Bears nought but poison. Did she feel for this 

A mother's throes, and cares, and hopes, and joys ? 

O traitor man ! A gaudy equipage 

Glides by in pomp ; the bridal-favours shine : 

Scarce can she keep from curses. Yet, O God ! 

Thou art most just, and to thy sanctuary 

She creeps with tottering step, and for a while 

In thy vast mercy loses sight of wo. 



Who kneels beside her, in the faded garb 
Of worn gentility, with cheek as pale, 
And eyes more streaming? 'Tis a mother, brought 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 199 

To bitter need by one she trusted most, 

And dearest lov'd ; a child, an only son, 

Once lord of mansions, woods, and pastures. She 

Own'd but a widow's portion, which suffic'd 

The modest wants of age and charity ; 

A cultivated garden, a new book, 

And social friend, were all, save the spare mite 

To warm the frozen heart of penury, 

Mourning in naked walls, which scarce shut out 

The elements tempestuous, tho' they barr'd 

Access of comfort, sustenance, and hope, 

Till kind Euphrasia at the portal stood, 

Heav'n's ministring angel, and with sweetness, such 

As angels use to man, dealt provident 

Economy's wise aids. Dry is the fount 

From which theyflow'd, though, ere this rill was stopped, 

The claims of self were checked. The garden first 

Lost its rare plants, and literature mourn'd 

One patron gone. No more the social friend 

Found a warm welcome, and Euphrasia^ garb 



200 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Chang'd from fresh neatness, elegantly plain ; 

To ill-assorted, threadbare relics, types 

Of fallen dignity. Compell'd at length 

By stern necessity to feed the calls 

Of waste, that pelican who never spares 

To gore a parent, blameable in nought 

But kind indulgence, sad Euphrasia quits 

The decent residence where first she wept 

A husband's death, the village by her care 

Improv'd, iuform'd, and fed. Her servants old 

And inexpert, yet faithful, much she mourns 

That she must leave them friendless, to contend 

With age and want. Alas! if all were told, 

Like suffering Guatimozin *, she could ask 

If she repos'd on roses ; for her doom 

Is yon small attic, clean, but cold and bare, 

Where her own hands supply the offices 

Her youth requir'd from many. Her delight 

* The last sovereign of Mexico. See Robertson's America, 
Book 5th. 






MATERNAL SORROWS. 201 

The daily ritual, when the social chimes 

Of bells to church divert the reveries 

Of lonely meditation, which will muse 

On past and priz'd enjoyments, and thy sting, 

Filial ingratitude; tho' the firm hands 

Of patience, meekly folded on her breast, 

Repress'd the murmurs of her throbbing heart, 

And bade her tongue be silent, nor complain 

Of poverty, neglect, or hate from him 

She cherish'd with her blood, bore in her arms, 

Sustain'd in childhood, watch* d in youth, and now, 

Spite of her wrongs and his misconduct, loves. 

Turn we from her to where, with feeble strength, 
Yet much-enduring will, busy when age 
Finds rest its dearest holy day — for noise 
Is anguish, silence bliss — a matron tries 
To rule a wayward group of vigorous imps, 
Who ask a firm preceptor to restrain 
Their overweening ardour. Generous blood 
Requires more strict coercion than befits 
K 5 



202 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

A wo-worn grandame, who with tears oft bathes 

Her sprightly pupils, orphans of a sire 

Who with misfortune struggled, till he fell 

In Indostan, planting his country's flag 

On Agra's distant walls. Yet was not war 

His early choice. He tried, but tried in vain, 

The peaceful walks of commerce and of arts. 

By faithless friends deceiv'd, by patrons cold 

Deluded and abandon'd, what remain'd 

But in some distant region to explore 

A milder doom than poverty and scorn ? 

His wife, late wedded and much lov'd, refus'd 

The shelter of his mother's narrow cot, 

And shar'd his fortunes. O'er a world of waves 

Sail'd the forlorn adventurers ; save her 

Who own'd that narrow cot, they had no friend 

To mourn their loss, or aid their miseries. 

But ready was her aid, and deep her grief, 
And vast the vacuum which their absence made 
At her neat hearth, once social, lonelv now, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 203 

And sad, save when the homebound fleet arriv'd, 
Charg'd with the wealth of India, and to her 
With treasures richer than Golconda's mines, 
Purer than Mecca's balsam/ letters fraught olnil nl 
With gratitude's warm tribute, sacred hoards 
Of anxious love, and stores of confidence, 
Disclosing strong integrity of aim, 
And glorious magnanimity, which stay 
The soul against the buffets of mischance, 
Firm as the twisted cords which to her shores 
Bind Britain's trident. These, Amelia, spread 
In winter evenings on thy board, supplied 
Thy best regale ; and when thou sat'st, fatigued 
With noontide wanderings, on a mossy bank, bah 
Screen'd from the fervid day-star, from the eye 
Of observation screen'd, in these thou saw*st 
A charm than summer lovelier; for they told 
Of perils past, of labours well perform'd, 
Endanger'd health restor'd, adversity 
By prudence baffled, and a vista hewn 



204 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

By hope through fate's dark wilderness. " We soon," 

He writes, M shall sail for England. Wisdom plans 

A vast achievement, and my share of spoil 

Will dower frugality with ample means. 

Enlarge thy cot, my mother, for thy son 

Will sit beside thee, and afford thine age 

The help his youth experienc'd from thy love. 

He brings a numerous family to join 

His pious offices ; prepare thy heart 

For a young grandchild, sporting in thine arms, 

Winding its fingers in thy silver locks, 

And with its ardent kiss closing thine eyes, 

Dimm'd with the tear of joy." The narrow cot 

Is soon enlarg'd, and rank'd in order due ; 

The desks, and forms, and hammocks are prepar'd 

For the young guests. They land, a sable train. 

Where is your mother? (i Dead." Your father v, here? 

" He died at Agra ; conquest crown'd bis sword, 

But the lance piere'd him as he bravely tore 

The crescent from her walls. We bring transcribe 






MATERNAL SORROWS. 205 

The general orders which decreed his corpse 
A soldier's trophied grave. Our mother liv'd 
To hear his fate, then sicken'd, and expir'd, 
And left us friendless. She was weak of soul, 
And should have staid to save the wealth our sire 
Bought with his blood from Indian treacherv. 
We liv'd among the natives, orphan-babes 
Of those they hate as conquerors, but found 
A generous Englishman, a friend, whose care 
Preserv'd our little pittance. We embark'd 
For England and for you. O weep not thus ! 
We will be ever dutiful, and strive 
To make you think of dear papa no more." 

Yet on that father, on that man of woes, 
Whose bones at Agra whiten, still her thoughts 
Delight to dwell. She sees him in his boys ; 
Such were his sports, his early gallantry, 
His noble firmness. So he look'd and smil'd ; 
But, O ! he lov'd her dearer, and escap'd 



206 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

The errors seen in them. Yet for their sake 
She yields to live, and cherishes with care 
Life's glimmering candle, in its socket sunk, 
And verging on extinction. If she dies, 
Who with such thrifty justice will expend 
Their scanty stipend, with such tender care 
Watch their exotic humours, or refine 
Their souls to virtues worthy of their birth ? 
For this she asks, what piety would else 
Crave to resign, a life of care and toil, 
111 suited to decrepitude's worn frame. 

Yet, Muse, forget not in thy list of griefs 
Amanda's sorrows. She, the blameless wife 
Of rich Mercator, in her family 
Blessing and bless'd. With every promise fair 
They flourish'd ; but most lovely, most belov'd, 
Louisa shone in beauty's early morn, 
Gay, innocent, affectionate, the joy, 
The pride of all. Soon was that morn o'ercast ; 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 207 

O'er her fair cheek a sickly languor stole, 
And the soft sighs which issu'd unobserv'd, 
Contrasted by strained gayety, betray 'd 
By its unapt disguise. Alone she rov'd, 
Preferr'd the moonlight to the noon-day walk ; 
Or, bending o'er her lute, unconscious humm'd 
Some tender tale of love. With mirthful hearts, 
Unstricken yet, her sportive sisters gib'd 
Her alter'd manners, and in whispers vow'd 
To tell the cause Amanda's anxious eye 
Discern'd too plainly, that the canker love 
Prey'd on her damask rose. Patient she staid, 
Nor yet with zeal indecorous profan'd 
The sacred haunts where maiden modesty 
Conceal'd the preference to its blushing self, 
Perchance but half reveal'd. And now her eye 
Measures their youthful visitants, him first, 
Henry of Avondel, their frequent guest, 
Pvich, young, and gay, at whose unyielding heart 
Tir'd Cupid empts his quivers ; unsubdu'd, 



208 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Tho' the bold huntress, fail Cloriuda, e'er 
Pursu'd hirn buskin'd in the arduous chase, 
And tahVd of Trip's and Ranter's feats; uncaught, 
Tho' soft Errninia carv'd on the smooth beach 
His name with true-love knots and flourishes; 
And when she met his eyes, with side-long glance 
Told how she lov'd him. Free the rover goes, 
Dances with PolyineJe, with Mira sings, 
Whispers kind nothings to each cheated maid, 
And mocks the bait by many a skilful dame 
Suspended o'er his manors. " Is it he/' 
Amanda cries, " for whom Louisa pines, 
At first ambition's dupe, then plung'd by love 
In dungeons of despondence, where he hides 
The recreant nymphs who volunteer their hearts ? 
Her sisters say she loves him, and predict 
Merit like hers can never love in vain. 
Poor girls ! unskill'd to read the heart of man ; 
Jhey little think how pride delights in power, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 203 

And vanity displays th' Hesperian fruit 
To tempt and cheat doting credulity." 

Now the sage mother marks Louisa's face 
When Henry enters. " Does it flush with shame ? 
Do the unmeaning compliments which form 
The current coin of life, gain from his tongue 
A sterling value ? Does she shun his hand, 
As if an adder bedded in his palm ? 
Yet does her timid eye, when uuobserv'd, 
In silent adoration on his face 
Throw its rapt gaze ? If so, too true she loves, 
And 'twere but self-delusion did she scoff 
With jests misplac'd his manners and his mien ; 
That were affection's feint, who, undisguis'd 
But rarely speaks in bashful womanhood, 
Till love to Hymen his fair captive yields." 



i 



Tis doubtful still, no kindling blush, no gaze 
Of stol'n idolatry, no tremors chill 



210 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



Betray her secret woes. Now rumour tells 

Of Henry's marriage, an alliance high ; 

Birth, beauty, fortune, all unite to crown 

His envied bride. Her taste shall re-adorn 

That ancient hall where pale Louisa's eyes 

Have long been thought to fix. Her ample dower 

(To all but waste superfluous) shall repair 

The breaches wanton prodigality 

Made in fair Avondel. Report shall tell 

His happiness, and pity slightly name 

The maid who lov'd him. Yet Louisa's cheeks 

Reveal no traces of more frequent tears, 

Nor wax they paler. She repeats with praise 

The bridegroom's fondness, and the nuptia pomp ; 

Pays her due gratulations, then returns 

To solitude, and woos the nightingale. 



c< Still droops my darling girl," Amanda cries, 
" But not for wedded Heury. Does despair 
Consume her blasted prime ? and yet a youth, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 211 

Such as gray spinsters picture when they tell 
The triumphs of their early beauty, bows, 
And meets a cold denial." Much incens'd, 
Mercator asks, " Can maiden pride demand 
Offer more splendid, or fastidious taste 
Require a nobler mind or finer form ?■" 
Trembling at stern rebuke, the sobbing fair 
Sinks in her mother's faithful arms. Her tears 
Mix with the silent mourner's, while she craves 
That confidence too long withheld, too long, 
By scrupulous, high-minded delicacy, 
Spar'd from solicitude, Louisa's eyes 
Confess there is a secret, and implore 
Forgiveness for a grievous fault, chastis'd 
By sufferings exquisite. " Name not to me," 
She cries, " the worth of Alcon, nor suppose 
That the young heir of Avondel hath doom'd 
My life to singleness. Along thy plains, 
Fertile Bengal, my husband roams • for him, 
Wedded in thoughtless childhood, and estrang'd 



112 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



By habit, time, and distance, flow these tears. 
Ceaseless they bathe his pictured form, when grief 
Seals every eye but mine, and the pale lamp 
Directs me to the casket where I hide 
The tokens of his early love ; for once, 

mother ! sure he lov'd me ; and perchance 
Not to neglect, but faithless elements, 

1 owe his silence now." " His name, my child :" 
Exclaims the faltering mother, as she strains 
With reconciling fondness to her heart 

The shivering, fainting culprit. " 'Tis a name 
That will offend. My sire's inveterate foe, 
Unworthy Raymond, who betray'd his trust, 
And wroug'd his fame, gave birth to him I love, 
To him I wedded. While a witless girl, 
W T e at a kinsman's met. Romantic hearts, 
Inflam'd by Romeo's wrongs, and Juliet's woes, 
Taught us to love, and realize the tale, 
He Montague, I doting Capulet. 
Marriage would heal the breaches of our house, 






MATERNAL SORROWS, 2i3 

And from the brier of hidden love would grow 

The rose of concord. So a youthful friend, 

With seeming wisdom pleaded ; but, alas ! 

O'er thy rebellious daughter's marriage-bed 

The cypress and the willow wav'd. Regret 

Is mine, and mine remorse, till death dissolves 

The contract folly form'd. Yet, if thou canst 

Protect me from my father's wrath, conceal 

My wrongs, my woes. How would his honour brook 

To hear his tempted daughter has been urg'd 

To break recorded vows ; urg'd, too, by him 

To whom she pledg'd them ! O ! I tell thee all, 

Ev'n the last sorrow of this broken heart. 

Raymond would give me liberty, resign 

His title to some worthier suppliant, 

Blest with paternal sanction. Love, he says, 

And honour claim this sacrifice of self, 

From hopeless, hVd despair. Can honour stoop 

To license foul adultery, or love 

Quit what it best prefers ? Couldst thou resign 



214- 



MATERNAL SORROWS, 



Thy child, my mother ? In the guiltiness 
Of my confess'd transgressions I dare ask, 
If thou couldst cast me as an alien off, 
To be beheld no more ? O press me still 
To thy warm heart in silence, nor reply: 
The sharp reproaches of thy pitying tears 
Shootthrough my mortal wounds. Would heaven I ne'er 
Had known a love, or trusted faith but thine !" 



" O child for ever dear ! yet be th' offence 
Of secrecy by confidence aton'd, 
And trust thy father's wisdom, love, and care. 
I will divulge thy story ; meet the burst 
Of angry rage, and, when its transport ends, 
(As quickly it will end in sorrow) lead 
Thee to receive his blessing. It will drop 
Like balm upon thy anguish, and his will 
Shall guide thy future course/' Louisa yields ; 
In palpitating agony she waits 
The kind ambassadress, who soon returns, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 215 

And brings the news of pardon. Half her woes 
End at that sound ; but injur'd love prepares 
Fresh sorrow ; nor will Hymen crown with peace 
The inauspicious contract folly form'd, 
And falsehood violates. Where wild excess 
Revels in tropic regions, and bestows 
Nature's best products on a sensual lord 
Unworthy of her gifts, young Raymond's name 
Was heard with detestation. Merciless, 
Ev'n in the bow'r of wantonness, to those 
Who fed his brutal appetites ; unjust, 
Where he had strength to wrong, yet prone to bend, 
Th' expectant sycophant of wealth and power. 
Such was Louisa's husband ! His misdeeds 
Came posting on a thousand couriers. Say, 
To such a guardian should fond parents trust 
Their pure, dejected daughter ? Tho' allur'd 
By promis'd dow'r, and cheated in his hope 
Of higher nuptials, Raymond woos her now 
With tempting tales of eastern pomp, and vows 



2\6 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Oflove renew'd, and many a smooth excuse 
For past unkindness. No : with lingering love 
They clasp her close., and still delay the hour 
Of separation, till her alter' d eye 
In vacant stupor fix'd, or rolling wild, 
Tells that the cup of misery is drain'd 
Ev'n to its dregs ; and the fair maniac, freed 
From sense of true misfortune, wanders now 
Amid the visions of distemper' d thought. 
Oft o'er the sea she sails, and welcomes oft 
India's well-painted shores. In fancied state 
She decks her hair with berries, as with gems, 
Ascends her palanquin, and round her calls 
Her tawny slaves, and tells the silver moon 
To light her o'er the Ganges to her love. 
Anon with rage she glows, tears from her head 
The ornaments fantastic, furious beats 
Her breast, and bids the tiger and the wolf 
Say if their name is Raymond. Sinking soon 
In sad exhaustion, with a feeble wail 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 2\? 

She mourns her miseries, till sympathy 
Is thriird with anguish. But attendant still 
On all her woes, soothing each wild caprice, 
Checking with trembling grasp her frenzied hands, 
And pleading mild, when, save thyself, no friend 
Durst bide her fury, thou, Amanda, still 
For many a year didst o'er the sufferer watch, 
And gain, what none but thou couldst gain, the pow'r 
To rule her wanderings. As in infant life, 
Thine eye could check her lapses, and thy pray'rs 
Disarm her fury, till her wayward sense 
In gentle error rested ; mild, composed, 
And inoffensive, but persuaded firm 
That Raymond still was faithful, and would come 
When the calm seas permitted. All day long 
She watch'd the winds, but still they never blew 
Aright ; and still at eve the fleecy clouds 
Saii'd o'er the wandering moon too swift. Yet hope 
Would image the tranquillity denied 
To her sick thought, and bid the future rise 
L 



218 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Sacred (o peace and joy. With kindred ray 
Hope gilds the labours of maternal love ; 
Grateful for lessened ills, Amanda trusts, 
Ere her eyes close in death, to see her child, 
By misery made most dear, repay her care 
With conscious gratitude, restored to peace, 
To reason's heavenly ray again restor'd. 

Nor were her pray'rs uugranted, tho' her eyes 
Saw not the blessed change. The snows of age, 
Falling on poor Louisa's wrinkled brow, 
Compos'd her burning brain. Serene and calm, 
Her early cheerfulness renew'd, nor all 
Her early beauty faded, in life's eve 
She shone a star of bounty to distress, 
A guide to thoughtless youth, remembering well 
That she had greatly err'd, and deeply mourn'd. 

Nor turns the Muse from gazing on the train 
Of real wo, passing in sombre pomp, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 31 g 

Till she has call'd on pity to bestow 

A tear to sooth yon matron. Dignified, 

And pale, and graceful is her faded form — 

She stops where British gratitude erects 

The trophies of our warriors ; stops, and weeps, 

Musing on him who fell, ere victory 

Quench'd the vast thirst of valour. Yet at times 

Her heart escapes the sternness of his fate, 

And glows with high entrancement, pondering o'er 

Maida's triumphant day, Rosetta's field, 

Acre, where England humbled blasphemy, 

And Aboukir, where Abercromby died 

Beneath the flag of glory. From that scene 

Quick glance her thoughts to him she ever mourns ; 

A son * — she has no other ; and a line 

Of patriots, chiefs, and statesmen fail?, extinct 

In him who, on the rock of chivalry, 

* George, only son of Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, 
Bart, was killed on the landing of the British troops in Egypt, 
in the 19th year of his age, and buried at Malta. 



220 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Sleeps with Valetta's heroes ; sleeps, ere fate 

Allow'd his youthful arm to realize 

The glowing visions portray'd on his mind, 

When honour bound the sabre on his thigh, 

And sent him to the tented field, to prove 

His untried puissance. Eagerly he rush'd 

To grave his high-born name beside his sire's, 

And met the missile death, ere yet his arm 

Had flesh'd his sword. Forth well'd the generous blood, 

Drawn from the fount of ancient kings ; and hope, 

Which on his amber ringlets tow 'ring sat, 

Sunk to the dust with them in blood imbu'd. 

Yet turn, illustrious mourner, in whose eyes 
Sorrow hath quench'd the lamp of joy and love, 
No more to be re-lumin'd ; turn and own 
Thy misery not extreme. There is a grief 
To which thy pangs are light, an agony 
Intense, which, shivering 'twixt despair and hope, 
Knows not on which to gaze. Ask those whose sons 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 221 

Launched in the Grosvenor's fated keel, and 'scap'd 
The elements, to meet a fate more dire, 
In wild CafFraria's deserts wandering, 
Distant from human aid, and barely fed 
With nature's vilest produce. One by one 
They languished and expir'd ; the weakest first, 
Soon join'd in death by him whose stronger limbs 
Turn'd from his dying comrade to explore 
Another portion of th' untrodden waste [guide, 

That stretch' d around them : there, with chance their 
They stray'd in many a curve. Nor sex, nor age 
Then wak'd humanity ; each wretch, intent 
On self-support, sigh'd for the pittance giv'n 
To save a feebler sufferer, in whose eyes 
Wild famine glar'd. One lovely boy alone 
For succour pleaded, and was heard. He liv'd 
The darling of the hardier few, who long 
Endur'd the struggle. In their friendly arms 
Alternate borne, he shar'd their scanty spoils, 
And fed the. watch-light as they roam'd for food, 



222 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Soothing their woes with infant-blandishment. 

And smiles cherubic, till weak nature sunk, 

And death, in shivering listlessness disguis'd, 

Embraced the guiltless mourner. Then despair 

A final conquest gain'd ; and as they delv'd 

The drifting sand to hide his faded charms, 

With stony eyes they envied his repose, 

Nor sicken'd more for European vales. 

Yet to vast Afric's southern wilds, the haunt 

Of beasts carnivorous, or barbarous tribes 

Than brutes more bestial, hope still lingering chain' d 

The fond maternal soul, and imag'd there 

Her wandering child a savage or a slave, 

Panting for social life, tho' long estrang'd 

From all its joys, in anguish long immur'd, 

Yet not grown callous in the grasp of wo. 

So fell suspense, of miseries worst, thy fangs 
Tortur'd full many a mother, when the banks 
Of Cavary, in India's chersonese, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 223 

Disclos'd a scene of bloody fraud, while be, 

- 
The wily tiger of Mysore, invok'd 

Revenge from black Gehenna to dispute 

With British firmness ; saw the fiend subdu'd 

By patient strength, then with malignant pride 

Drew dark oblivion's curtain to conceal 

The names of those who sufter'd, and their wrongs. 

Rose not those injur'd spirits, when thy walls 

Seringapatam ! crumbled, and exposed 

The tyrant's race to Britain's missile fires ? 

Did they not gibber, when the cruel son 

Of the fell sire, their murderer, pour'd his blood 

Where theirs had gush'd; or when their country's flag 

Wav'd o'er the musnud where he sat and view'd 

Their tortures, and in them (short-sighted fiend!) 

i 
Deem'd England's name and empire all destroy 'd ■? 

Lingers the Muse to probe the recent wounds 
Scarce skinn'd by time, of her, whose gallant boy 
At Ceylon perish'd ? Ceylon, star of isles, 



2%4i MATERNAL SORROWS. 

That rises radiant in the eastern sea. 

In thee, as in a chrystal cabinet, 

Nature inshrines her choicest treasures, gold, 

And gems, and spices, drugs medicinal. 

And balms odorous. Yet thy sunny vales 

Nourish a cruel race. Here Britain's sons, 

Captives of war, a foe like Hyder found, 

And shar'd the fate of Baillie's slaughter'd band. 

Mysterious fate ! Truth on the storied page 

A feeble outline draws, and yields the pen 

To vivid fancy, fashioner of ills 

Most horrible. O'er the sad mother's couch 

She lies, a brooding incubus, and crowds 

The dolorous chamber with her earth-born gnomes, 

Tortures, and shrieks, and groans, and mortal throes, 

By man endur'd from fellow-man, who mocks 

That code of heavenly mercy, which hath loos'd* 

The captive's bands, and from thy chariot, war, 

* See the Bishop of London's tract on the benefits which the 
world in general has derived from Christianity. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 225 

Pluck'd the destroying scythe which murder'd those 
Who crouch' d beneath thy jav'lin's awful blow. 

O Britain, native isle, whose triumphs warm 
My breast with ardour, for whose wrongs I mourn, 
And with a woman's weakness shuddering hear 
Thy dangers ! Queen of ocean ! with regret 
I must accuse thee, tho' thy victor-flag 
Flames like a steady cynosure, to shew 
A darkling world the port where liberty, 
Honour, and truth, their votive altars guard. 
Bears not that banner, in its ample field, 
The Christian symbol? Christian are thy hosts, 
And on the word of God thy Christian crown 
Recumbent lies. Why then like Camel's churl*, 
Withhold thy living waters, and thy bread 
Of life from hungry strangers, subject now 
To all thy laws, except thy laws divine ? 

* Nabal. See 1st Samuel, 25th chapter, 11th verse. 
L 5 



226 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Art thou the nation maritime, beheld 
Long since by Amos' son* in vision clear, 
Beyond the Ethiopic floods, with wings 
Protecting other lands, and sending forth 
Her fragile vessels over distant seas ? 
And shall the awful mandate to collect 
Israel oppress' d and scatter'd, and to bear 
The converts to their God in Palestine, 
Be to thy care intrusted ? Sanctify 
Thyself for the high mission, and become 
In purpose, as in fact, heav'n's minister. 

Say, shall thy red- cross standard wave sublime 
O'er golden Inde, and Satan's idol-holds 
Feel not its influence f ? Still the blazing pyres 

* Isaiah, 18th chapter. The reader is referred to Bishop 
Horsley's Commentary on that very mysterious part of holy 
writ. 

f The Author disclaims having any intention, by these re- 
flections, to excite government to subdue paganism in our In- 
dian possessions by coercive measures. It is rightly argued, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. l 227 

Proclaim where superstition immolates 

The self-devoted. Still in Ganges flood 

Besotted myriads seek for health, and life, 

And pardon, and beatitude. On earth 

The Fakir lies, and still, with eyelids shorn, 

Looks at the sun on his meridian throne, 

And deems his tortures virtue. Britain, say, 

Where are thy temples, where thy white-rob'd priests, 

Thy bloodless altars, and thy sacred creeds ? 



that as we are not sufficiently powerful to effect such a design, 
God has not allowed us the means of rooting out idolatvy. 
But what every serious person must deeply lament is, that in 
our numerous and wealthy settlements, no- provision, or at 
best only a very scanty one, is made for supporting Christianity 
among our own countrymen, or for propagating its sublime 
truths among the natives, by giving them a chance of conver- 
sion from beholding the beauty of holiness in our public wor- 
ship, and in the lives of Christians. That the latter effect of 
our religion is not more prevalent must be referred to the fault 
of individuals. What is required of the, ruling powers is, to 
found a religious establishment at every settlement, and to pa- 
tronize the translation of the holy scriptures into all the native 
languages. 



228 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Hast thou no true ablution to despoil 

Ganges of worship ? no pure rite, no prayer, 

No adjuration, from his trance of pain 

To rouse the Fakir ? no consoling chaunt 

To tell the widow her Redeemer lives, 

And snatch her from the flames ? O teach those groves, 

Rich with redundant beauty, fragrance, fruit, 

And shade salubrious, all the swelling pomp 

Of Asiatic foliage, teach those groves 

To echo other sounds than Bramah's name, 

And other incantations ! Be the songs 

Of Sion heard from fertile Malabar 

To sandy Arcot, to the beauteous shores 

Of rich Orissa, and Bengal, profuse 

Of all life needs, save that for which we live. 

O spread those echoes o'er the peaceful seas, 

Peopled with barks innumerous ! Let them sound 

In every spicy isle, and palm-crown' d bay, 

Where commerce spreads her tent, or stays her oar. 

Wherever waves thy banner, bid it shade 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 229 

The house of God ; where'er thy tongue is heard, 
O let it, like an angel's trumpet, tell 
Messiah's kingdom of good-will and peace, 
Friendship and truth to man ; to God the rites 
Of firm obedience, gratitude, and love. 
Exalt the full hosanna, till it soars 
High as the lofty mountains of the moon, 
And wakens Afric's savage genius, there 
In gloomy state reposing ; bid him yield 
His bloody banquets, and his demon-gods ; 
Call on the tawny Moor to lay aside 
That sensual creed which binds him to afflict, 
And hate, the Christian. Teach Canadian tribes, 
Who wander vast Columbia's northern wilds, 
To hope a better heav'n than that they paint, 
Areskoni's gift beyond the lakes, composed 
Of forests stor'd with game, and sunny plains. 
But chief, O guilt! O grief! lasting disgrace 
To thy renown to say, 'tis yet undone ! 
Teach those whom Afric's vices, or thine own, 



230 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Have made thy captives — those who ceaseless toil 
Beneath a burning sun, to swell thy marts 
With produce exquisite ; those most forlorn, 
Whom thou hast reft of country, and disjoin'd 
From nature's ties ; O teach those men of woes, 
The God thou worshippest. So when they sit 
Their labour ended, musing on the plains 
Of Guinea, or on Benin's cooling palms, 
Till sorrow kindles vengeance, and they dare 
To brave, by crime, the tortures which they deem 
Will send them to the realms so lov'd, so mourn'd— 
Visions more mild may rise, list'ning the themes 
Of heavenly mercy, and eternal rest 
To deep affliction. Down their glossy cheeks 
Shall stream the tears of piety and joy, 
Dews of an ardent heart, producing now 
Far nobler passions than revenge and hate. 

O Britain ! cleanse thy glory from this stain, 
Of nations most illustrious ! Blush to hear 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 231 

That Lusitanian and Castilian kings* 

First laboured in their colonies to fix 

The cankerM scion they mistaking deem'd 

The tree of life ; whilst thou, in whose bless VI soil 

It grows redundant, checked by counsels cold, 

Selfish, or atheistical, hast giv'n 

To the true plant no culture., nor convey'd 

Its fruit to distant regions. Hangs the sword 

Of desolation o'er thy head, scarce staid 

From hewing down thy greatness ? Are thy sons 

Torn from the walks of peace, thy treasures drain'd, 

And thy vast genius circumscrib'd with laws 

Abhorrent to thy nature, but imposd 

By the stern times, and wilt thou not inquire 

How thou hast sinn'd to Heav'n, nor weep th' offence 

Of cold indifference in a sacred cause ? 

• 

* Dr. Robertson, in several parts of his History of America, 
describes the care which the Spanish government took to found 
and endow religious worship in the countries which they con- 
quered. 






232 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

Yet, Britain, know, whether thy hallow'd hand 
Shall usher in the dawn, or, fearful still, 
Curtain its beams, the sun of truth shall rise, 
Shine from the orient, light those scattered isles, 
Which, like green emeralds, sparkle on the breast 
Of the Pacific and Atlantic seas, 
Blazing from Greenland to the southern pole, 
O'er Apalachian mountains, on the top 
Of Andes, on the high Riphcean rocks, 
O'er the long chain which shoots from Caucasus 
To sea-wash'd Anadir; where India's hills 
Stop the monsoon's strong current, to the heights 
Of Ethiopia, where the Nile collects 
Her waters inexhaustible, shall sound 
The echoing lauds of universal man 
Hymning one common God, the God of peace, 
And purity, and fellowship, and love. 

Then shall the anxious mother, when she yields 
Her child to distant realms, lose half the fears 



MATERNAL SORROWS, 233 

Which now oppress her soul. No barbarous shore 

Will then be founds where lurks the cannibal, 

Or savage, who in sport his arrow aims, 

And deems a murder pastime. Shipwreck then 

Shall lose its adventitious miseries ; 

Nor shall the wretch whom the vex'd sea bath spar'd 

Find man a sterner enemy. No more, 

When filial piety, with zeal untir'd, 

From port to port, from sea to sea, explores 

A father's fate, the Troubridge of those times, 

Shall terror ask how died he ? Sunk the chief 

In his own Blenheim, vanquish'd by the storm ? 

Lies he in pomp marine, ingulph'd beneath 

The element he lov'd, from whence he reap'd 

The harvest of renown ? or found his keel 

A dreary island, where a club or stone 

FelFd him whom Gallia's hostile fires had spar'd 

In his long glorious course ? Then never more 

Shall female terror sicken at the tale 

Of sack'd Grenada's massacre, nor shrink 



234: MATERNAL SORROWS. 

At the wild ravage of a negro war, 
Wasting Domingo's fertile paradise ; 
When dying infants, writhing on the pike, 
Shriek' d to their lifeless sires. Humanity 
From east to west shall triumph ; nor shall man 
Turn tempter, and to foul rebellion prompt 
Young inexperience, fanning till they flame 
The fires of lust, intemperance, and hate : 
Fraud shall not glory o'er the simple fool, 
Trapp'd in the snare be deck'd with gaudy flowers. 

Thus, the worst enemies of man fang-drawn, 
And exil'd, like the lion, from the haunts 
Of social life, the mother shall entrust 
Her child to scenes unknown, with precepts strange 
From those she now enjoins, bidding him nurse 
The glow of confidence, and give the dole 
Of liberality, ere need resolves 
To ask his aid, trusting his future wants 
To friends as prompt and pitying. " For friends now 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 235 

Hang ripe on every tree*, and every friend 
Is sound at core. Self has resign' d the throne 
To warm benevolence, whose first decree 
Hath banish'd guile. His station candour fills ; 
Mercy and truth are met, discoursing high 
On universal happiness ; and peace 
Gives righteousness the kiss of spousal love. 

" Go forth, my child, the adder lurks not now 
In the way-side to sting thy heedless foot; 
Nor does the hideous vampyre envy, flap 
With wing obscene, the offering genius bears 
To immortality. Fear not to smile ; 
Smiles are not now misconstrued. Loose the reins 
To innocence and joy ; for innocence 
And joy are the competitors who drive 
Beside thy chariot, with fraternal zeal 
To hail thy triumph, or to aid thy fall. ^jy j 

* " Young friends grow not on every tree, 
Nor ev'ry friend unrotten at the core." 



230 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

The world is chang'd; 'tis Christian now ; each land 
Blazes in gospel-glory. Not as late, 
Part in deep night, in twilight shadows part, 
Part by false meteors wilder'd, and where shone 
The splendour brightest, by the Christian shrine, 
Mammon, and Belial, and lewd Chemosh raised 
With other names their idol-shrines and groves. 
These are the times of which the golden harps 
Of prophecy, with many a symbol high, 
Their rapturous idylls sung ; the distant view 
Warm'd hoary wisdom with seraphic fire, 
Bursting in symphonies sublime. The seers 
Beheld Messiah's kingdom, Sharon's rose, 
The cedar and the peaceful olive join'd 
Flourish in barren sands by confluent streams, 
That burst spontaneous where no ravenous beast 
Could lurk, no poisonous serpent coil his folds 
To spring on man. But o'er green pastures, strew'd 
With flowers, o'er-arch'd with foliage, kings and queens, 
As nursing parents, led the church of God, 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 237 

Singing one song, array'd in spotless robes 
Of sanctitude, and journeying safe to heaven/' 

Assist, ye mothers, by your care, the toils 
Of statesmen and of warriors. Speed the time 
When man reclaim'd, and liege to God, no more 
Shall need the sword of justice, or of war. 
Provide, by early labour, for your age 
Its best retreat, a bower secure and warm, 
By your own branches shelter'd, there to sit, 
And ruminate on former days ; V improve 
The present hour, and plume your flagging wings 
For your celestial journey, then diseern'd 
Through a straight vista. When your feeble hands 
Can minister no longer to your wants ; 
When the faint knees relax, and the dull ear 
Hears not the charmer; when the ray divine 
Of beauty lights not the dull eye, and taste 
Pails on unflavour'd sameness ; every sense 
Shall be supplied, if filial gratitude 



238 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



Repays the mighty loan maternal love 
Lent to its helpless years ; and thou shalt lean 
On its kind arm, nor fear thy tottering steps, 
Nor want thy sightless eyes. What tho' renown 
To thee is silent, and the world no more 
Invites thee to her gorgeous feasts, content 
That thou hast shar'd them, leave them to the young 
To banquet, and, as thou hast done, retire. 
Sublimer joys are thine ; thy children's love, 
Their modest fortunes, and their fair renown, 
To thee more musical than ought beneath 
The chime melodious of according stars. 
Died the strong Rhodian, father* of delight, 
When his three sons, crown'd in th J Olympic games, 
Woke the Pindaric lyre ? In holier bliss 
The Christian mother dies, when round her bed 
Her kneeling progeny, with pious prayers, 
Waft her pure soul to heaven. On every face 
She turns a parting glance, attempts to raise 
* Piagoras. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 239 

Her sthTen'd hands in benedictions kind ; 

And the last accents inarticulate, 

Which tremble on her falling lip, are sounds 

Of thankfulness and blessing. Fare thee well ! 

Thy labours now are ended, and thy joys 

Largely expatiate. The mysterious veil, 

Drawn by Omniscience o'er the world unseen, 

Allows the Muse faint glimpse of what thou art 

In thine eternal mansion. Yet, if still 

Man's nobler aims rise unsubdu'd by death ; 

If the calm sage, who studied nature here> 

Pursues her wonders through ten thousand worlds'; 

If he who rul'd an empire under God, 

Now rules a star, still will the mother's shade 

Attend her darlings with benignant care, 

And in a guardian angel's sacred form *, 

Shall perfect love full consummation find. 

* The employment here assigned to the maternal spirit is 
confessed to be founded on a hypothesis which has no support 
from scripture. We know, however, too little of the nature 



2i0 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 



Come, pensive Muse, resume thy harp, and close 
Thy strains with consolation. Paint the soul 
Refin'd from earthly frailty, aud inspired 
With clear foretastes of glory. See it dry 
The tears of love, who o'er the clay-cold corpse 
Delights to bend, closing with reverend touch 
The glassy eyes, composing the writh'd limbs, 
And in the plain habiliments of death 
Investing ruin'd nature. At the grave 
The parent shade attends the mournful train, 
And calls attention, while religious hope 
Sings jubilant. In poverty, in wo, 
In sickness, in reproach, in thy green path, 
Prosperity, on honour's slippery rock, 
In every trial, various as the aims, 



of spirits, peremptorily to decide that such an office is impossible 
for glorified human beings to perform, or that they may not, in 
some future stage of existence, become ministering spirits, like 
angels. It is hoped that it will not be deemed too fanciful to 
conclude a poem dictated by maternal feeling, with a sug- 
gestion which must often have occurred to a mother's heart. 



MATERNAL SORROWS. 241 

And characters, and destinies of man, 

The faithful guardian watches ; and, perchance, 

Obtains permission oft to ward the bolt 

Of threatened evil, or in gentle dreams 

To whisper admonition or reproof; 

And when they struggle through death's vale, to stand 

A beckoning angel on the shores of bliss, 

Cheering its fainting progeny with strains 

Most rapturous, the sound of harps divine, 

Chanting the wonderous change from dying pangs 

To immortality, to heav'n, and God. 

Happy the mother, happier than the bound 
Of human thought can fathom, who, when death 
Resigns his empire, from the grave shall rise, 
With all her race beatified, and soar 
Joyful to meet her Judge. Then, with deep awe, 
Profound humility, and trust divine 
In his unbounded mercy, trembling speak 
The words he utter'd, " Lord, of those thou gav'st 
M 



242 MATERNAL SORROWS. 

To thy weak handmaid to instruct in truth, 
And guide to glory, I have lost not one * ; 
On earth we were thy servants, and now come, 
In thine own realm to serve thee evermore/* 

* St. John, 17th chapter, llth verse. " Those that thou 
gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost." 



THE END. 



WORKS WRITTEN BY MRS. WEST, 

AND PUBLISHED BY 

LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, 

PATERNOSTER-ROW . 



1. LETTERS addressed to a YOUNG MAN, on his First 
Entrance into Life ; and adapted to the peculiar Circumstances 
of the present Times. — The 4th Edition. In 3 vols, 12mo. Price 
16*. 6d. Boards. 

" This work appears to us highly valuable. The doctrines 
which it teaches are orthodox, temperate, uniform, and liberal ; 
and the manners which it recommends are what every judicious 
parent would wish his son to adopt." — Brit. Crit. " We con- 
sider these letters as truly valuable, and would strongly recom- 
mend them to the attention of our younger friends." — Crit. Rev. 
" We cannot withhold our tribute of praise which a work of 
such superlative merit demands.'' — Guard, of Ed. 

2. LETTERS addressed to a YOUNG LADY, wherein the 
Duties and Characters of Women are considered chiefly with a 
Reference to prevailing Opinions. — The 2d Edition. In 3 vols. 
12mo. Price 1/. Is. Boards. 

" We do not venture without mature deliberation to assert, 
that not merely as critics, but as parents, husbands, and bro- 
thers, we can recommend to the ladies of Britain, " The Letters 
of Mrs. West.*'— Crit. Rev. 

3. THE ADVANTAGES of EDUCATION; or, The His- 
tory of Maria Williams. A Tale, for very young Ladies. — The 
2d Edition. In 2 vols, 12mo. Price 7s. Boards. 



• 



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